ChBE Seminar Series: Ning Yan

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
11:00 a.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Dongxia Liu

Ning Yan
Assistant Professor
Dept. ChBE, National University of Singapore

Rational Control of Nano-scale Metal-catalysts for Biomass Conversion


Biomass offers a wide range of starting materials for value-added chemicals and fuels, however, components in biomass feedstock bristle with functional groups, reducing their stability to withstand high temperatures usually used to process petrochemicals. Therefore, de-functionalization, in particular deoxygenation under mild reaction conditions over highly effective catalysts is of central importance. Such a requirement fits well with the advantages of nano-scale metal-catalysts, which have proven properties in promoting hydrogenolysis, hydrogenation, and decarboxylation reactions under mild condition.

In recent years, we have demonstrated in a series of studies that the conversion of lignocellulose, lipids, and chitin can be effectively catalyzed by well-defined nano-metal catalysts (see Scheme 1).[1-5] The type of metal, size, composition, and surface modification are all key parameters to achieve desired transformations. In some cases, multiple reaction steps are needed, hence multifunctional systems could be developed to promote a one-pot reaction in a cascade manner.
Scheme 1 Major biomass conversion routes via metal catalysed reactions.


[1]  N. Yan, X. Chen, Nature, 2015, 524, 155-157.

[2]  Y. Wang, S. De, N. Yan, Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 6210-6224.

[3]  J. Zhang, J. Teo, X. Chen, H. Asakura, T. Tanaka, K. Teramura, N. Yan, ACS Catal., 2014, 4, 1574-1583.

[4]  W. Li, Y. Gao, S. Yao, D. Ma, N. Yan, Green Chem., 2015, 17, 4198-4205.

[5]  S. Siankevich, G. Savoglidis, Z. Fei, G. Laurenczy, D. T. L. Alexander, N. Yan, P. J. Dyson, J. Catal., 2014, 315, 67-74.

More About the Speaker:

Ning Yan obtained his bachelor and PhD degrees from Peking University in 2004 and 2009, respectively. Thereafter, he worked as a Marie-Curie Research Fellow with Prof. Paul Dyson at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He joined the National Universityof Singapore (NUS) as an Assistant Professor and established the Lab of Green Catalysis in 2012. His research interests include green chemistry, biomass conversion and catalysis. Recently, he won the NUS Young Investigator Award and the G2C2 Young Researcher Award.

Audience: Public 

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