Project Description: The processing of biomass produces massive amounts of ethanol and acetaldehyde (C2 oxygenates), which need to be further upgraded before they can be used as fuels or lubricants. Titanium and similar group IV and V metal oxides catalyze C-C bond formation among C2 oxygenates (e.g., via Aldol Addition) as well as other reactions (e.g., MPV, Dehydration, Esterification). A combination of kinetic, spectroscopic, and isotope labelling studies elucidate the how these processes occur and reveal trends that arise from differences in the physicochemical properties of these catalysts. Therefore, increasingly selective and active catalysts may be devised from the design criteria revealed from these studies.
Honors and Awards:
-  DICP-Corning Graduate Student Fellowship
- [2007, 2009] Excellent Student Award of the Year
11. Hongbo Zhang and David W. Flaherty, Thermal Dynamic and Kinetic Studies on C-C Bond Formation from Ethanol over Amphoteric Metal Oxides; in preparation.
10. Hongbo Zhang, Christian Canlas, A. Jeremy Kropf, Jeffrey W. Elam, James A. Dumesic and Christopher L. Marshall, Enhancing the stability of copper chromite catalysts for the selective hydrogenation of furfural with ALD overcoating (Ⅱ)—-comparison between TiO2 and Al2O3 overcoating; J. Catal. 326, 172-181 (2015).
9. Hongbo Zhang, Xiangkui Gu, Christian Canlas, A. Jeremy Kropf, Jeffrey P. Greeley, Jeffrey W. Elam, James A. Dumesic , Peter C. Stair and Christopher L. Marshall, Atomic Layer Deposition Overcoating: Tuning Catalyst Selectivity for Biomass Conversion; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 12132 –12136 (2014).
8. Hongbo Zhang, Yu Lei, A. Jeremy Kropf, Guanghui Zhang, Jeffrey W. Elam, Jeffrey T. Miller, Fred Sollberger, Fabio Ribeiro, Cem M. Akatay, Eric A. Stach, James A. Dumesic and Christopher L. Marshall, Enhancing the stability of copper chromite catalysts for the selective hydrogenation of furfural with ALD overcoating; J. Catal. 317, 284-292 (2014).
7. Fan Zhang, Xiulian Pan, Yongfeng Hu, Liang Yu, Xiaoqi Chen, Peng Jiang, Hongbo Zhang, Shibin Deng, Jin Zhang, Trudy B. Bolin, Shuo Zhang, Yuying Huang, and Xinhe Bao, Tuning the redox activity of encapsulated metal clusters via the metallic and semiconducting character of carbon nanotubes; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. , 110, 14861-14866 (2013).
6. Hongbo Zhang, Xiulian Pan and Xinhe Bao, Facile filling of metal particles in small carbon nanotubes for catalysis application; J. Nature Gas Chemistry. 22, 251-256 (2013).
5. Hongbo Zhang, Xiulian Pan, Xiuwen Han, Xiumei Liu, Xuefeng Wang, Wanling Shen, and Xinhe Bao, Enhancing chemical reactions in a confined hydrophobic environment: an NMR study of benzene hydroxylation in carbon nanotubes; Chem. Sci. 4, 1075-1078 (2013).
4. Hongbo Zhang, Jian Wang, Yongfeng Hu, Xiulian Pan and Xinhe Bao, Local structure of double walled carbon nanotube confined titania characterized by scanning transmission X-ray microscopy; J. Chem. Phys. 136, 174701 (2012).
3. Weijie Gao，Shujing Guo，Hongbo Zhang, Xiulian Pan and Xinhe Bao, Enhanced Ammonia Synthesis Activity of Ru Supported on Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotubes；Chin. J. Cat. 32, 1418-1423 (2011)
2. Zhen Wang; Qiang Fu; Xuejun Xu; Hongbo Zhang; Wenliang Li; Min Gao; Dali Tan; Xinhe Bao, Controlled growth of metal-free vertically aligned CNT arrays on SiC surfaces Chem. Phy. Lett. 503,247-251 (2011).
1. Hongbo Zhang, Xiulian Pan, Jingyue Liu, Weizhong Qian, Fei Wei, Yuying Huang and Xinhe Bao*, Enhanced catalytic activity of sub-nanometer titania clusters confined inside double-wall carbon nanotubes ChemSusChem, 4 (7), 975-980 (2011).