Inorganic Catalysis for Renewable Fuels

Seminar | January 25 | 4-5 p.m. | 120 Latimer Hall

 Jenny Yang, Department of Chemistry, UC Irvine

 College of Chemistry

My research program is focused on developing molecular catalysts for energy conversion (redox) reactions. We focus on the thermochemistry of key bond-making and cleavage steps for H+ reduction to H2 and CO2 reduction to HCO2- in order to design more energy efficient catalysts. We also investigate the parameters that govern the reactivity of common catalytic intermediates in H+ and CO2 reduction pathways in order to elicit selectivity. Our recent successes in this area have led to the discovery of a new selective catalyst for CO2 reduction to HCO2- and a catalyst that reversibly catalyzes CO2 reduction and HCO2- oxidation. Reversible reactivity is characteristic of catalysis near the thermodynamic potential and has previously only been observed in the formate dehydroganse enzymes. My research program also designs new ligand frameworks to explore bio-inspired secondary coordination sphere effects on reactivity. These efforts include the synthesis of new ligands with proton acceptors to mediate multi-proton, multi-electron processes such as oxidation of H2O to O2 as well as the effect of incorporating a non-redox active metal ion to tune redox potentials and reactivity through an electrostatic field potential.

 Light refreshments will be served at 3:50 at The Coffee Lab, 510-643-0572