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Wenqian Xu

Wenqian Xu

Research Associate

Chemistry Division
Building 555
Brookhaven National Laboratory
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

Phone: (631) 344-4317
Lab Phone: (631) 344-4347
FAX:    (631) 344-5815

Catalysis: Reactivity and Structure


Ph. D. in Geosciences, Stony Brook University, USA -2011
Dissertation: Evolution of Ferric Sulfates with Relative Humidity and Temperature and Their Potential Usage as Environmen​tal Indicators in Martian Research (Advisor: Prof. John B. Parise)  

B. Sc. in Geology 2001 - 2005    Peking University, Beijing, China,  -2005


Postdoctoral Research Associate , Department of Chemistry, BNL - 2011 - Present
Research Assistant, Department of Geosciences, SUNY Stony Brook - 2006 - 2011
Teaching assistant, Department of Geosciences, SUNY Stony Brook - 2005 - 2006

Research Interests

I am interested in analyzing crystal structures of both minerals and synthetic materials and understanding how the structures are related to their properties.  My research involves using in situ scattering and spectroscopic methods to study heterogeneous catalysts for chemical reactions related to hydrogen production, aiming at identifying active sites and species and elucidating reaction mechanisms. I am currently analyzing a group of Ni-based catalysts for ethanol steam reforming (ESR) reaction and attempting to improve activity and lifetime of the catalysts. A recent study on Ni/CeO2 catalyst revealed the how Ni metal and the ceria support interact in converting intermediate species involved in ESR. I am also working on synthesis of molybdenum carbide catalysts for carbon dioxide hydrogenation. I frequently use X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) in my research.


American Chemical Society
Mineralogical Society of America
American Crystallographic Association


Journal Articles:

  1. Xu, W. Q., Liu, Z. Y., Johnston-Peck, A. C., Senanayake, S. D., Gong, Z., Stacchiola, D., Rodriguez, J. A. Steam reforming of ethanol on Ni/CeO2: reaction pathway and interaction between Ni and the CeO2 support. ACS Catalysis, 2013, 3(5): p. 975-984.
  2. Vecchietti, J., Collins, S., Xu, W. Q., Barrio, L., Stacchiola, D., Calatayud, M., Tielens, F., Delago, J. J., Bonivardi, A. Surface reduction mechanism of cerium–gallium mixed oxides with enhanced redox properties. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2013, 117(17): p. 8822-8831
  3. Ramírez-Reina, T., Xu, W. Q., Ivanova, S., Centeno, M. A., Hanson, J. C., Rodriguez, J. A,, Odriozola, J. A. In situ characterization of iron-promoted ceria–alumina gold catalysts during the water-gas shift reaction. Catalysis Today, 2013, 205: p. 41-48.
  4. Yeager, M., Du, W. X., Wang, Q., Deskins, N., Sullivan, M., Bishop, B., Su, D., Xu, W. Q., Senanayake, S. D., Si, R., Hanson, J. C., Teng, X. W. Pseudocapacitive Hausmannite Nanoparticles with {101} Facets: Synthesis, Characterization and Study of Charge-Transfer Mechanism using in situ XANES and XRD. ChemSusChem (In press)
  5. Chen, W. F., Wang, C. H., Sasaki, K., Marinkovic, N., Xu, W. Q., Muckerman, J. T., Zhu, Y., Adzic, R. R. Highly active and durable nanostructured molybdenum carbide electrocatalysts for hydrogen production. Energy & Environmental Science, 2013, 6: p. 943-951.
  6. Kubacka, A., Si, R., Michorczyk, P., Martinez-Arias, A., Xu, W. Q., Hanson, J. C., Rodriguez, J. A., Fernandez-Garcia, M. Tungsten as an interface agent leading to highly active and stable copper-ceria water gas shift catalyst.  Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 2013, 132: p. 423-432.
  7. Omenya, F., Chernova, N. A., Zhang, R. B., Fang, J., Huang, Y. Q., Cohen, F., Dobrzynski, N., Senanayake, S., Xu, W. Q., Whittingham, M. S. Why Substitution Enhances the Reactivity of LiFePO4. Chemistry of Materials, 2013, 25(1): p. 85-89.
  8. Li, W., Livi, K. J. T., Xu, W. Q., Siebecker, M., Wang, Y. J., Phillips, B. L., Sparks, D. Formation of Crystalline Zn-Al Layered Double Hydroxide Precipitates on gamma-Alumina: The Role of Mineral Dissolution. Environmental science & technology, 2012, 46(21): p. 11670-11677.
  9. Xu, W. Q., Si, R., Senanayake, S. D., Llorca, J., Idriss, H., Stacchiola, D., Hanson, J. C., Rodriguez, J. A. In situ studies of CeO2-supported Pt, Ru, and Pt–Ru alloy catalysts for the water–gas shift reaction: Active phases and reaction intermediates. Journal of Catalysis, 2012, 291: p. 117-126.
  10. Li, W., Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B., Phillips, B. L. Formation of hydroxylapatite from co-sorption of phosphate and calcium by boehmite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2012, 85: p. 289-301.
  11. Bo, S. H., Wang, F., Janssen, Y., Zeng, D. L., Nam, K. W., Xu, W. Q, Du, L. S., Graetz, J., Yang, X. Q., Zhu, Y. M., Parise, J. B., Grey, C. P., Khalifah, P. G. Degradation and (de)lithiation processes in the high capacity battery material LiFeBO.  Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2012, 22(18): p. 8799-8809.
  12. Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B. Temperature and humidity effects on ferric sulfate stability and phase transformation. American Mineralogist, 2012, 97(2-3): p. 378-383.
  13. Harrington, R., Hausner, D. B., Xu, W. Q., Bhandari, N., Michel, F. M., Brown, G. E., Strongin, D. R., Parise, J. B. Neutron pair distribution function study of two-line ferrihydrite. Environmental Science & Technology, 2011, 45(23): p. 9883-9890.
  14. Che, C. C., Glotch, T. D., Bish, D. L., Michalski, J. R., Xu, W. Q. Spectroscopic study of the dehydration and/or dehydroxylation of phyllosilicate and zeolite minerals. Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, 2011, 116, E05007.
  15. Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B. Synthetic ferric sulfate trihydrate, Fe2(SO4)3•3H2O, a new ferric sulfate salt. Acta Crystallographica Section C – crystal structure communications, 2011, 67: p. I30-I32.
  16. Xu, W. Q., Hausner, D. B., Harrington, R., Lee, P. L., Strongin, D. R., Parise, J. B. Structural water in ferrihydrite and constraints this provides on possible structure models. American Mineralogist, 2011, 96(4): p. 513-520.
  17. Banerjee, D., Kim, S. J., Wu, H., Xu, W. Q., Borkowski, L. A., Li, J., Parise, J. B. Anionic gallium-based metal-organic framework and its sorption and ion-exchange properties. Inorganic Chemistry, 2011, 50(1): p. 208-212.
  18. Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B., Hanson, J. (H3O)Fe(SO4)2 formed by dehydrating rhomboclase and its potential existence on Mars. American Mineralogist, 2010, 95(10): p. 1408-1412.
  19. Banerjee, D., Kim, S. J., Borkowski, L. A., Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B. Solvothermal Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Ultralight Metal Coordination Networks. Crystal Growth & Design, 2010, 10(2): p. 709-715.
  20. Xu, W. Q., Tosca, N. J., McLennan, S. M., Parise, J. B. Humidity-induced phase transitions of ferric sulfate minerals studied by in situ and ex situ X-ray diffraction. American mineralogist, 2009. 94(11-12): p. 1629-1637.
  21. Santulli, A. C., Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B., Wu, L. S., Aronson, M. C., Zhang, F., Nam, C. Y., Black, C. T., Tiano, A. L., Wong, S. S. Synthesis and characterization of V2O3 nanorods. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2009. 11(19): p. 3718-3726.
  22. Mason, H.E., Hirner, J. J., Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B., Phillips, B. L. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy of Pb-rich apatite. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 2009. 47(12): p. 1062-1070.
  23. Anderson, T. M., Alam, T. M., Rodriguez, M. A., Bixler, J. N., Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B., Nyman, M. Cupric siliconiobate. Synthesis and solid-state studies of a pseudosandwich-type heteropolyanion. Inorganic Chemistry, 2008. 47(17): p. 7834-7839.
  24. Anderson, T. M., Rodriguez, M. A., Stewart, T. A., Bixler, J. N., Xu, W. Q., Parise, J. B., Nyman, M. Controlled assembly of [Nb6-xWxO19](8-x)- (x=0-4) Lindqvist ions with (amine)copper complexes. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2008(21): p. 3286-3294.
  25. Zhang, Y. Y., Guo, Z. J., Liu C., Xu, W. Q. Geochemical characteristics and geological implications of Cenozoic basalts, east Altai, Xinjiang.  Acta Petrologica Sinica, 2007. 23(7): 1730-1738