CBE/ENGR 225 Seminar Presents: Gabriel Ménard, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of California, Santa Barbara

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 @ 4pm in Room #ESB 2001

Abundant Metal Catalysts for Applications in Clean Energy Storage and

Sustainable Catalysis


The shift to a fossil fuel-free economy will require significant advances in catalysis science applied to

energy storage and sustainable chemistry. Here, we will describe our approach and recent results in

catalyst design applied to ammonia splitting chemistry for hydrogen release, as well as for oxidative

biomass depolymerization chemistry.

Ammonia is an excellent H2 carrier gas and its oxidation to release dinitrogen and ultimately hydrogen

is being intensely studied in our lab. Our most recent success involves a simple abundant-metal based

catalyst system which, as part of a synthetic cycle, oxidizes ammonia to dinitrogen, the key multielectron

step to ammonia splitting chemistry.

We are also interested in biomass valorization chemistry, in particular applied to lignin

depolymerization chemistry. New platforms featuring main group multiply bonded centers tethered

through redox linkers to a redox-active metal electron reservoir will be described. Our preliminary

results into oxygen activation yielding unusual vanadium superoxide/peroxide chemistry – a possible


intermediate in C-H bond activation – will also be described.