Weaver Receives NSF Grant To Study Selective Methane Oxidation (UF Department of Chemical Engineering)

Weaver Receives NSF Grant To Study Selective Methane Oxidation

Jason F. Weaver, Ph.D., the ExxonMobil Gator Alumni Faculty Endowed Professor at the University of Florida Department of Chemical Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study selective methane oxidation using elaborately structured IrO2-based mixed metal oxides.

In this project, Dr. Weaver will collaborate with UF ChE researchers Helena Hagelin-Weaver, Ph.D., an associate professor, and David Hibbitts, Ph.D., an assistant professor and holder of the Moreno Rising Star Professorship, to develop a fundamental understanding of the selective conversions of methane to more valuable chemicals using well-defined oxide catalysts.

“Designing catalyst structures with atomic-level precision is an important step toward efficiently and selectively converting methane to chemicals. In our new project we are trying to synthesize catalysts with small amounts of Ir dispersed throughout a less reactive host oxide. Our guiding hypothesis is that atomic scale Ir-O moieties will be able to efficiently break the first C-H bond(s) of CH4but that the lower reactivity of the host oxide will suppress extensive oxidation and instead enable the resulting hydrocarbon groups to undergo partial oxidation or coupling to value-added products,” said Dr. Weaver.

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