On July 01, 2016, the Member of United States National Academy of Sciences, Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalysis from Northwestern University, Prof. Tobin J. Marks visited Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP). He delivered a Zhang Dayu lecture presentation titled as “ Strategies for Biofeedstock Conversions via Tandem Catalysis”.
This lecture focuses on thermodynamics/mechanism-based strategies for converting abundant biofeedstocks into useful fuels and chemicals. New approaches to the hydrogenolysis of the ubiquitous C-O bonds include selective hydrogenolysis of cyclic and linear etheric C-O bonds by tandem catalytic systems consisting of recyclable metal triflates and supported hydrogenation catalysts, in either ionic liquid solvents or in the neat substrates. Kinetic and DFT computational studies show that the turnover-limiting step in these reactions is the retro-hydroalkoxylation, followed by rapid alkenol hydrogenation. The metal triflate catalytic activity scales approximately with the DFT-computed charge density on the metal ion. With the most active catalysts, ethereal substrates are rapidly converted, via the alkenol, to the corresponding saturated hydrocarbons. In similar tandem processes, esters and triglycerides are also rapidly and selectively converted, ultimately, to C3 hydrocarbons and biodiesel esters. The kinetics and mechanism of these ester hydrogenolysis processes, as deduced by combined experimental results and DFT computation, are compared and contrasted with those of the corresponding ethers.
The presentation was hosted by Prof. Can Li. On behalf of DICP, Prof. Xueming Yang, the vice Director of DICP, awarded Prof. Tobin J. Marks the “Zhang Dayu Lectureship” certificate and granted him as an honorary Professor of DICP.
(Text by Xin Guo, Photo by Dan LI)