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Welcome to the Flaherty Research Group!

The Flaherty Group will move to Georgia Tech in Summer 2023!

Our research focuses on the overlapping topics of catalysis, surface science, and materials synthesis. The goal is to determine the mechanisms of individual elementary steps and competing pathways for chemical reactions important for best utilizing our limited fossil resources and biomass. To unravel complicated networks of reactions, we utilize steady-state kinetic measurements, transient and perturbation techniques, and in situ spectroscopy. With detailed knowledge of how a reaction proceeds we can better design processes and catalysts to selectively promote desirable reactions over the undesirable pathways.

In order to construct develop clear relationships between the composition and structure of catalytic sites and the chemistry they promote, it is critical to use uniform and well-characterized materials. This is achieved using advanced synthetic methods which take advantage of strong chemical driving forces to self-assemble the desired catalytic site.

Projects in our group are motivated by the need to efficiently process recalcitrant petrochemicals, selectively transform biomass, develop alternatives for harmful oxidants, and produce clean burning fuels. Our intention is to make insightful contributions to the scientific community; to explore possible solutions to industrially and socially relevant problems, and to educate and train young researchers.

Recent News

(10/19/2022) Welcome to Huston, our newest PhD student addition to the group! He received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.

(10/18/2022) Congratulations to David and Vijay (from the Mironenko group) on our recent ACS Catalysis publication! Using a combination of experimental and computational techniques, they investigated the interplay between confined solvent molecules and increasingly large alkyl chains for alkene epoxidations within zeolites. Check it out here!

(10/14/2022) Congratulations to Richa for winning first place in the 2022 ChBE Graduate Research Symposium for her poster presentation!

(10/14/2022) Chris presented an oral presentation and Richa presented a poster presentation at the 2022 ChBE Graduate Research Symposium. Good work!

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Recent Publications

[87] David S. Potts, Vijaya Jeyaraj, Ohsung Kwon, Richa Ghosh, Alexander M. Mironenko, David W. Flaherty, "Effect of Interactions Between Alkyl Chains and Solvent Structures on Lewis-Acid Catalyzed Epoxidations", ACS Catal. 2022.

[85] Claudia E. Berdugo-Díaz, Yang Sik Yun, Melissa Manetsch, Jing Luo, David G. Barton, Xue Chen, David W. Flaherty, "Pathways for Reactions of Esters with H2 over Supported Pd Catalysts: Elementary Steps, Site Requirements, and Particle Size Effects", ACS Catal. 2022, 12, 15, 9717-9734.

[84] Abinaya Sampath, Tomas Ricciardulli, Pranjali Priyadarshini, Richa Ghosh, Jason S. Adams, David W. Flaherty, "Spectroscopic Evidence for the Involvement of Interfacial Sites in O-O Bond Activation Over Gold Catalysts", ACS Catal. 2022, 12, 15, 9549-9558.

Full Publication List

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