Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory

The Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory, led by Professor Michael S. Wong, is located in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular 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). We develop and apply materials synthesis techniques to understand better how structure affects the catalytic properties of a nanomaterial.

Our Research.


Structure-property analysis of bimetallic catalysts

Nanoparticle synthesis and catalysis

Heterogeneous catalysis for water cleanup

Biomass upgrading chemistry

Hydrocarbon upgrading chemistry

Nanoparticle assembly

Nanomaterials for enhanced oil recovery and downhole detection

Advanced materials processing of microcapsules, quantum dots, and supported metal oxides.

Recent News.


Chelsea Clark successfully passed her proposal. Congratulations Chelsea! June 15, 2017
Ben Yin was recognized with a Best Poster Award for his poster presentation on “Selective oxidation of ring-locked glucose using Pd-on-Au catalyst" at the 2017 Spring Symposium of the Southwest Catalysis Society. April 28, 2017
Jake Lobb defended his MS thesis on the topic of 'Adsorptive Removal of Sulfur Containing Compounds from Fuels using Metal Loaded Zeolite.' Congratulations! March 31, 2017
Congratulations to Ben for winning 1st place at the 2017 Chevron Lecture on Energy, Graduate Student Poster Competition! March 2017
Congratulations to Ben Yin for being selected as a 2017 RemTEC Student Competition Winner at the RemTEC Summit! March 2017
Li has been selected to attend the 2017 IGNITE Entrepreneurship Trek to Silicon Valley program, as a RCEL representative. Congrats! February 2017
Sujin Guo was selected to receive a 2017 IBB Travel Award. Good job! February 2017
Congratulations to Camilah Powell for being named a finalist for the Department's 2016 Kobayashi Award for best PhD thesis proposal and receiving an Honorable Mention! February 2017
Welman received 1st place for his poster on “Nitrate anions degrade rapidly on Indium-coated Pd nanocube edges” at the 2016 International Water Association (IWA) Nano and Water Specialist Conference. Great work! May 2016
Welman wins two best poster awards - Best Poster Award at the SWCS Meeting, and Third Place at the Department Graduate Student Poster Competition. Congratulations! April 2016
Dr. Gupta was elected as a Director of American Chemical Society-Greater Houston Section. Thanks for your service to the community, Mayank! February 2016
Congratulations! Dr. Varun Shenoy Gangoli successfully defended his PhD dissertation on "An Investigation of Carbon-based Nanomaterials for Efficient Energy Production and Delivery. January 6, 2016