The conversion and upgrading of molecules intended for use as energy carriers, the derivatization and functionalization of these molecules to chemicals and polymer precursors, and the mitigation of the environmental consequences of the use of fuels and chemicals are enabled by processes based on heterogeneous catalysts. Catalysis, its practice and its concepts, will remain relevant as we respond to changes in feedstock availability and type. With this mindset, our group focuses on the molecular-level description and control of catalytic chemistries relevant for the transformation of transitional sources of fuels and feedstocks such as natural gas and biomass..
The functional characterization of reactivity is accomplished by isotopic tracer and transient studies, chemical transient methods, and steady-state kinetic measurements to determine the evolution of surface species and reaction intermediates prevalent under reaction conditions. These kinetics and mechanistic studies are complemented by general structural and chemical characterization studies using X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, porosity measurements, thermal analysis techniques and infrared and NMR spectroscopies. In intimate collaboration with these experimental studies, computational studies using Density Functional Theory (DFT) are done to examine molecule-surface interactions and chemical rearrangements relevant for these chemistries.
Our integrated experimental/ theoretical approach lies at the crossroads of materials synthesis, computational catalysis and catalytic chemistry and aims to advance our ability to understand, design and control chemical transformations using catalysis.
- Associate Editor, Journal of Catalysis, 2017
- Young Scientist Award, Acid Base Catalysis Society, 2017
- Ipatieff Prize, American Chemical Society, 2016
- Richard A. Glenn Award, Energy & Fuels Division (ENFL) American Chemical Society, 2016
- US Department of Energy Early Career Award, 2012
- NSF CAREER Award, 2011
- College of Science and Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award, 2011
- McKnight Land Grant Assistant Professor, 2011-2013
- 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award, 2011-2013
- Sukaran S. Arora; Davy L. Nieskens; Andrzej Malek; Aditya Bhan; “Lifetime improvements in methanol-to-olefins catalysis over CHA materials by high pressure H2 co-feeds” Nature Catalysis 1 (2018) 666-672.
- Cha-Jung Chen; James W. Harris; Aditya Bhan; "Kinetics of ethylene epoxidation on a promoted Ag/α-Al2O3 catalyst – the effects of product and chloride co-feeds on rates and selectivity” Chemistry: A European Journal 24 (2018) 12405-12415.
- Mark M. Sullivan; Aditya Bhan; “Effects of oxygen coverage on rates and selectivity of propane-CO2 reactions on molybdenum carbide.” Journal of Catalysis 357 (2018) 195-205.
- Andrew Hwang; Aditya Bhan; “Bifunctional strategy coupling Y2O3 catalyzed alkanal decomposition with methanol-to-olefins catalysis for enhanced lifetime.” ACS Catalysis 7 (2017) 4417-4422.
- Linh Bui; Aditya Bhan; “Mechanisms for C-C bond cleavage and formation during acrolein production on a mixed metal oxide catalyst.” Applied Catalysis A: General 546 (2017) 87-95.