Engineering Research Seminar Series 21, 2012: Oxide-metal Nano-composites for Advanced Heterogeneous Catalysts: Concepts and Practices

Professor Xu Bo-Qing from Tsinghua University, China

Date: 2012-10-04
Time: 11:00 to 12:00
Venue: Engineering Meeting Room 1, 5-4-22


Oxide-supported metal catalysts, containing highly dispersed metal nanoparticles on support particles that are one to several orders of magnitude larger, are an important class of heterogeneous catalysts. The nano-size effect of active metal particles in these catalysts has been well-documented but systematic study of nano-size effect of a supporting oxide material was not possible prior to recent advances occurring in the size-controlled synthesis of oxide nano-particles. Reducing the particle sizes of supporting oxides to match with the sizes of active metal nano-particles would lead to nano-composite oxide-metal catalysts or catalytic materials consisting of comparably sized metal and oxide nanocrystals. This presentation is intended to introduce the oxide-metal nano-composite concept for the design and preparation of advanced heterogeneous metal catalysts. A number of examples attempted in reducing oxide (ZrO2, MgO, CeO2, ZnO, TiO2, etc) particle sizes to approach oxide-metal nano-composite catalysts (metal = Ni, Au, Ag, Cu, etc.), including studies in this and other laboratories, will be used to illustrate significance of oxide nano-size effects in metal catalysis. A few cases of nano-composite oxide-oxide catalyst would be included in an attempted to extend the concept to nonmetallic redox catalysts. Perspectives of nano-composite oxide-metal structures for innovation in multifunctional catalysis and for understanding the scope and practicability of nano-catalysis will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Professor Xu Bo-Qing obtained his BS in chemistry at Jiangxi University in 1982 and a Ph.D in physical chemistry from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (Chinese Academy of Sciences) in 1988 and became a full professor in 1992 at Dalian University of Technology. Professor Xu is currently a Chang Jiang Scholar Professor in Chemistry, Director of Institute of Physical Chemistry, Deputy Director of the Key Laboratory of Organic Optoelectronics and Molecular Engineering, Tsinghua University.  He was a visiting scientist fellow at the Catalysis Center of Northwestern University(USA) and School of Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. He also has experience as a short-term visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley in 2002 and Hong Kong Baptist University in 2004. 

He received several awards which include Natural Science Award of the Ministry of Education of China (2nd Grade, 2009), National Catalysis Award of the Chinese Catalysis Society (2006), Outstanding Young Chemist Award (NSF China, 2001) and Excellent Trans-century Young Faculty Award of the Ministry of Education of China (2000).  His name appears on the editorial board of Applied Catalysis A-Gernal, Current Catalysis, International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technologies, The Open Catalysis Journal, and International Advisory Board of Acid-Base Catalysis.