The Catalysis & Nanomaterials Laboratory

The Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory, directed by Professor Michael S. Wong, is located in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, Houston, TX. Our research program broadly addresses engineering problems using the tools of materials chemistry. We work in the thematic area of nanotechnology and currently in the application areas of energy (chemicals production from oil/gas and biomass), downhole oil detection and enhanced recovery, photovoltaics, rechargeable batteries, and the environment (water cleanup, green chemistry). In collaboration with researchers from UT El Paso, ASU, and Yale in the NEWT Center, we develop new scientific understanding and nano-enabled engineering solutions to treat contaminated water in a fit-for-purpose manner. We develop and apply materials synthesis techniques to understand better how structure affects the catalytic properties of a nanomaterial. How can we design solid catalysts that enable the sustainable use and management of our natural resources?

Our Research.

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PFAS Destruction
Nitrate/Nitrite Reduction
Produced Water Treatment for Reuse & Recycle
Catalysis for Water Clean-Up
Oil Recovery & Devosification
Biomass Upgrading
Nanomaterials Synthesis
Catalyst Design & Optimization

Recent News.

We most heartily welcome Dr. Youngkun Chung (PhD, KAIST) to our group! He will be working on novel PFAS destruction methods and catalysis. September 1, 2022
We are happy to Mr. Jan-Max Arana Juvé as a visiting scholar to our lab. He is a PhD student from Aarhus University in the Department of Engineering. Welcome! August 1, 2022
Congratulations to Bo, Kim, and Lijie for their latest work on BN/TiO2 photocatalysis for PFOA degradation by UV-C/UV-A/sunlight! This follows a new paper that Bo co-authored with the Senftle group on the PFOA photooxidation mechanism over BN. June 25, 2022
We welcome Mr. Mateo Sanchez (rising junior, Post Oak School) as our summer research intern, welcome! June 1, 2022
Dr. Tanya Rogers has successfully defended her PhD thesis work, Development of Nanocatalytic-Enabled Systems for Treatment of Anthropogenic Water Contaminants! April 19, 2022
A new paper that quantifies how Pd-on-Au nanostructures change catalytically with thermal annealing. Another great collaboration with Jeff Miller (Purdue) and his team! April 16, 2022
Chris has been selected to recieve the Sunit Patel '85 Endowed Fellowship Award for 2021! April 15, 2022
Chris' work on TiO2 Nanotube Array Growth has been published! April 3, 2022
Bo has been awarded the Richard J. Kokes Travel Award to support his participation in the 27th North American Catalysis Society Meeting! April 1, 2022
Bo has been selected to join the inaugural cohort of Rice Innovation Fellows as part of the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship! February 7, 2022
We are delighted to have Chris Botello (co-advised by Prof. A.D. Mohite) and Juan Donoso join the Group as ChBE PhD students! January 10, 2022
Congratulations to Dr. Dias da Silva! Priscilla successfully defended her PhD thesis work on "Contaminant removal from liquid fuels and oil-contaminated soils: Elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of adsorptive desulfurization and pyrolytic remediation." December 2, 2021
Congrats to Tanya (co-advised with Prof. Verduzco) on her first-author paper on catalytic CDI flow reactor to tackle the nitrate problem! September 17, 2021
The first work from a ASU-Rice collaboration on catalytic reduction of PFAS! September 9, 2021
In recognition of Chris's research, education, and outreach achievements in support of the NEWT Center, he as been selected as a 2021 NEWT Fellow! August 1, 2021
Congratulations to Mr. Juan Donoso for successfully defending his MS thesis work, Performance Modeling of Hydrogen-Based Membrane Palladium-Film Reactors! July 19, 2021
Austin's contributions to improved halide perovskite thin-film synthesis are published! Big team effort led by Aditya Mohite (Rice) and J-C Blancon. June 21, 2021
Chelsea received the most outstanding engineering thesis award this year! June 15, 2021
We welcome our newest Post-Doctoral Researcher, Wenqing Zhang, to the group! June 14, 2021
We are happy to have contributed to the electrocatalytic nitrate reduction to ammonia, led by the groups of Haotian Wang (Rice) and Samira Siahrostami (Calgary)! May 17, 2021
We are so happy to celebrate the PhD degrees of Drs. Chelsea Clark, Sujin Guo, and Yan Xu at the 108th Commencement Ceremony! May 15, 2021
Prof. Wong received the Presidential Award for Mentoring this year - congratulations! April 20, 2021
The student team “PFAS and PFurious” (advised by Prof. Wong and teaching assistant Josh Samba) took four prizes, including first place, in this year’s 31st WERC Environmental Design Contest. Congratulations! April 16, 2021
Prof. Wong was selected as a recipient of the inaugural D&I Faculty/Staff Recognition Award by the NEWT Center March 30, 2021
Dr. Xu's work on heavy oil viscosity reduction is available online - Great work Yan! March 12, 2021
Dr. Powell's latest work on radiofrequency heating has been published - Congratulations Camilah! March 11, 2021
We are so proud of Josh Samba, chosen as a 2021 Hertz Fellowship Finalist! February 4, 2021
We are so pleased to announce that Yan successfully defended her PhD thesis work, Understanding Heavy Oil Viscosity Reduction Chemistry Using Metal-Ligand Compounds! January 25, 2021
We welcome our newest MChE student, Rhea Nargund, to the group! January 4, 2021

News Archive