Chemistry Department Colloquium

"Turning Base Metals into Precious Metals: Nanostructured Early Transition Metal Carbides and Nitrides"

Presented by Levi Thompson, University of Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering,

Monday, July 9, 2018, 11:00 am — Hamilton Seminar Room, Bldg. 555

The addition of carbon and nitrogen to early transition metals like molybdenum and vanadium can result in materials with properties that are similar to those of platinum group metals (PGMs). In the mid-1970s, for example, it was discovered that tungsten carbides can catalyze hydrogenation reactions that previously were only known for PGMs, and more recently we observed that molybdenum nitrides are capable of bulk hydrogen storage like Pd. Since then, early transition metal carbides and nitrides have been investigated for a variety of reactions. This paper will describe our work to design and synthesize nanostructured early transition metal carbides and nitrides for reactions including selective hydrogenations. Our research has focused on understanding the genesis of the materials, unraveling the reaction mechanisms and determining structure-function relationships that will enable the rational design of these materials. Of particular interest are CO2 hydrogenation and ammonia synthesis, reactions for which new catalysts are needed to reduce energy consumption.

Hosted by: Sanjaya Senanayake

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