Home > Nicholas A. Brunelli: Designing Catalytic Materials on the Atomic Level for Sustainable Biomass Conversion

Nicholas A. Brunelli: Designing Catalytic Materials on the Atomic Level for Sustainable Biomass Conversion


2/26/2019 at 12:30PM


2/26/2019 at 1:30PM


102 DeBartolo Hall


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Jason Hicks

Jason Hicks

VIEW FULL PROFILE Email: jhicks3@nd.edu
Phone: 574-631-3661
Website: https://sites.google.com/nd.edu/catalysis-research-hicks/home
Office: 240B McCourtney Hall


College of Engineering Associate Professor
Our research group is primarily focused in the area of heterogeneous catalysis.  We apply concepts from materials science, inorganic chemistry, and chemical reaction engineering to design new catalytic materials for energy applications.  We focus primarily on the synthesis and optimization of new ...
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Rapid consumption of energy and material resources demands that we identify more sustainable manufacturing processes. Sustainable processes inherently involve minimizing waste. Indeed, the key challenge is achieving highly active and selective catalytic materials for converting resources such as biomass. Our group develops precise synthetic methods to produce uniform and well-defined catalytic sites that enable elucidation of structure-function relationships. We are currently investigating methods to convert biomass into chemicals through developing heterogeneous catalytic materials for glucose isomerization to fructose and fructose dehydration to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). Through tuning catalytic material design on the atomic level, we are able to establish structure-function relationships to create more active and selective catalysts. Overall, these new synthesis methods will help to create sustainable manufacturing processes to overcome challenges with catalytic selectivity.

Seminar Speaker:

Nicholas A. Brunelli

Nicholas A. Brunelli

The Ohio State University

Nicholas Brunelli is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at The Ohio State University. He received his undergraduate degree in CBE from Ohio State University (2004) and his doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (2010) supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Dr. Brunelli was advised by Professor Konstantinos Giapis, where he worked on nanomaterial synthesis using plasma techniques. Prior to joining the faculty at Ohio State, Dr. Brunelli worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia Tech with Professor Chris Jones and at Emory with Professor Huw Davies where he developed a keen interest in heterogeneous catalytic materials that utilize advanced organic synthetic techniques. Dr. Brunelli’s current research program focuses on controlled synthesis of materials to create new materials and to better elucidate structure-function behavior in the field of catalysis. This research has been recognized with the 2018 ACS Influential Researcher Award and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2017).