A special issue dedicated to "Advance in Ceria Catalysis" becomes online
Column: News Time: 2020-5-22
A special issue on Chinese Journal of Catalysis dedicated to "Advance in Ceria Catalysis" guest-edited by Prof. Feng Wang (DICP) and Dr. Zili Wu (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) becomes online

Hongji Li got his doctoral degree
Column: News Time: 2020-5-10
​Congraduations on Hongji Li for his successful PhD defense on May 10th, 2020. It's the first virtual PhD defense of our group.

Photo splitting of bio-polyols and sugars to methanol and syngas
We report the conversion of biomass-derived polyols and sugars into methanol and syngas (CO+H2) via UV light irradiation under room temperature, and the bio-syngas can be further used for the synthesis of methanol. The cellulose and even raw wood sawdust could be converted into methanol or syngas after hydrogenolysis or hydrolysis pretreatment. We find Cu dispersed on titanium oxide nanorod (TNR) rich in defects is effective for the selective C−C bond cleavage to methanol. Methanol is obtained from glycerol with a co-production of H2. A syngas with CO selectivity up to 90% in the gas phase is obtained via controlling the energy band structure of Cu/TNR.

Enhanced photocatalytic alkane production from fatty acid decarboxylation via...
Here we demonstrate that photogenerated radicals can be rapidly terminated by surface hydrogen species during photocatalytic decarboxylation of fatty acids on a hydrogen-rich surface that is constructed by the interactions between H2 and Pt/TiO2 catalyst, thereby greatly inhibiting oligomerization; Cn–1 alkanes can therefore be obtained from bio-derived C12–C18 fatty acids in high yields (≥90%) under mild conditions (30 °C, H2 pressure ≤0.2 MPa) and 365 nm light-emitting dode irradiation. Industrial low-value fatty acid mixtures (namely, soybean and tall oil fatty acids) can be transformed into alkane products in high yields (up to 95%). Our research introduces an efficient biomass-upgrading approach that is enabled by subtle control of the radical intermediate conversion on a heterogeneous surface.

Catalytic lignin depolymerization to aromatic chemicals
We present our recent studies on lignin's catalytic conversion to aromatic chemicals. First, we introduce our research on protolignin depolymerization via a fragmentation–hydrogenolysis process in alcohol solvents. Then, focusing on the catalytic cleavage of lignin C–C and C–O bonds, we shed light on a recapitulative adjacent functional group modification (AFGM) strategy for the conversion of lignin models. AFGM strategy begins with the adjacent functional group modification of the target C–C or C–O bond to directly decrease the bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE) of targeted bonds or generate new substrate sites to introduce the cleavage reagent for further conversion. Subsequently, on the basis of these two concepts from AFGM, we summarize our strategies on lignin depolymerization, which highlight the effects of lignin structure, catalyst character, and reaction conditions on the efficiency of strategies.

Nengchao Luo was selected as the Excellent Graduate Student of DICP, CAS
Column: News Time: 2020-1-15
​Nengchao Luo was selected as the Excellent Graduate Student of Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, CAS.

Visible-light-induced oxidative lignin C–C bond cleavage to aldehydes using ...
Using vanadium catalysts under visible light, we selectively cleave the C–C bonds in β-1 and β-O-4 interlinkages occluded in lignin models and extracts by an oxidative protocol. Visible light irradiation triggered single electron transfer between the substrate and the catalyst, which further induced the selective Cα–Cβ bond cleavage and generated the final aromatic products through radical intermediates. Using this photocatalytic chemistry, the reactivity of lignin models and the selectivity of Cα–Cβ bond cleavage were significantly improved. More importantly, this protocol affords aromatic monomers through the fragmentation of organosolv lignins even at room temperature, indicating the potential of photocatalytic C–C bond cleavage of lignin linkages under ambient conditions.

Prof Feng Wang is selected as the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) of ACS Catal...
Prof. Feng Wang joins the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) of ACS Catalysis, starting in January 2020. The EAB is the group that advises the editorial team on the direction of the journal, and members play a key role refereeing papers as well, being occasionally asked to act as adjudicative referees in tough cases.Link: https://pubs.acs.org/page/accacs/editors.htm