ITQ Severo Ochoa Lecture – Bingjun Xu, Lichen Liu y Feng-Shou Xiao

El próximo 12 de julio de 2024 se llevará a cabo en el Salón de Actos del ITQ (UPV-CSIC) una nueva sesión de ITQ Severo Ochoa Lecture.

Los ponentes en esta ocasión son Bingjun Xu, Professor at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Peking University, China; Lichen Liu, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China y Feng-Shou Xiao, College of Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.


Toda la información:

9:00h – 9:50h – Prof. Bingjun Xu “Activation of light alkanes at room temperature with molecular oxygen on Cu-based materials”

Professor at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Peking University, China.


Selective activation of C–H bonds in light alkanes at mild conditions is challenging but holds the promise of efficient upgrading of abundant hydrocarbons. In this talk, we discuss our recent discovery of selective activation methane, ethane and propane on metallic Cu with O2 in the presence of an aqueous phase acid. Cu+ was identified as the likely active center, which led to the discovery of  Cu+ stabilized in zeolites capable of propane activation at ambient conditions with a ~95% selectivity for propylene. Diffuse reflectance ultraviolet spectroscopy indicated the presence of both Cu+-O2 and Cu2(μ-O2)2+ species in the zeolite pores during reaction and electron paramagnetic resonance results showed that propane activation occurred via a radical-mediated pathway distinct from that with H2O2 as the oxidant. Correlation between spectroscopic and reactivity results on Cu(I)-ZSM-5 with different Cu loadings suggested that the isolated introporous Cu(I) species was the main active species in the propane activation.


Dr. Bingjun Xu is the Ge Li and Ning Zhao Chair Professor at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Peking University. Dr. Xu received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, advised by Profs. Friend and Madix, from Harvard University in 2011, and then worked with Prof. Davis at Caltech as a postdoctoral researcher. Dr. Xu started his independent research career in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at University of Delaware in 2013 as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to a Centennial Development Associate Professor in 2019. Dr. Xu joined the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Peking University in 2020. The current research interest of the Xu lab spans heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis and in-situ/operando spectroscopy. Dr. Xu is an awardee of US NSF Early Career Award (2017), US Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award (2016), ACS Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award (2015), the I&EC Class 2018 Influential Researchers (2018), Early Career Fellow of the I&EC (2022). Dr. Xu’s research focuses on interfacial catalytic reactions with applications in the area of renewable energy, CO2 capture and upgrade, and hydrocarbon conversion. He published more than 140 peer reviewed articles with an H index of 56 (Google Scholar).


9:50h – 10:10h – A. Prof. Lichen Liu “Recent progress in zeolite-confined subnanometer metal catalysts”

Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.


Zeolite-confined subnanometer metal catalysts are emerging materials in heterogeneous catalysis because these types of materials can combine the unique advantages of subnanometer metal clusters and the shape-selective properties of the zeolite framework surrounding the metal species. In this talk, I will present some recent progress in my lab at Tsinghua University on zeolite-confined metal catalysts, covering from the materials synthesis, dynamic structural transformations and catalytic applications.


10:10h – 11:00h Prof. Feng-Shou Xiao “New Strategy for Zeolite Synthesis and Preparation of Efficient Zeolite-Based Catalysts”

College of Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China


In general, zeolites are synthesized in the presence of costly organic templates under hydrothermal conditions by trial-and-error method in the presence of alkali or fluoride species. The trial-and-error method is costly and the use of alkali or fluoride species results in reduction of zeolite yields due to the dissolution of silica-based species in the presence of alkali or fluoride species. In our group, we developed new strategies for zeolite synthesis, including design of organic templates for directing the formation of zeolites by theoretical simulations for the interaction between organic templates and zeolite framework, atom-economic synthesis of zeolites under near neutral conditions. For zeolite catalysis, it is designed zeolite-based catalysts from adjusting adsorbate species on the catalyst surface by Le Chatelier’s Principle. We have shown that enriching reactants and intermediates and fast transfer of products significantly enhance the catalytic activity and selectivity in a series of reactions.