Professor and Chair
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Wednesday September 25, 2019
+Amol Ajinkya Memorial Fund Lecture
The total input of reactive nitrogen that comes from artificial fixation (via Haber-Bosch chemistry) into our environment now exceeds that of naturally fixed reactive nitrogen, contributing to global concerns about developmental unsustainability and inequitable environmental impact. This situation has catalyzed renewed interest in N2 chemistry, and in the chemistry of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and reduced nitrogen (NHx). In studying the water-phase catalysis of nitrate anion (NO3-) nitrite anion (NO2-) reduction using precious metals, we have found that this chemistry is much richer than originally expected. I will provide a background on my group's work on NO3-/NO2- reduction, introduce our findings on pH effects on rhodium-catalyzed reduction of NO2-, and discuss their implications for clean water applications.
Dr. Michael S. Wong is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University. He was educated and trained at Caltech, MIT, and UC Santa Barbara. He is head of the Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory (120+ publications, 20+ pending/issued patents, 300+ presentations, Google scholar h-index of 50, and 10K+ citations), which tackles technical energy and sustainability issues through chemical engineering and materials chemistry approaches. He has received numerous honors over the years, including the MIT TR35 Young Innovator Award, the North American Catalysis Society/Southwest Catalysis Society Excellence in Applied Catalysis Award, and American Chemical Society Fellow.