Water Upgrading Chemistry Using Precious Metal Catalysis

Free Food,
Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Michael S. Wong


Michael S. Wong
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, Rice University


Water is a natural resource that is fundamental to life on Earth, and providing access to clean water is one of the grand challenges in society. Population growth around the world not only exacerbates clean water sources for consumption, sanitation, household, and community needs, but also increases the water demand of agriculture and industry. As an enabling form of green chemistry, catalysis science can provide a new means to upgrade contaminated water to a quality level that matches its intended use, if operational constraints (ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure, variable water quality) can be overcome with materials with improved properties. Two example systems from my laboratory will be presented. Nitrate hydrogenation to dinitrogen using In-supported Pd will be discussed as a means to address the incomplete ability of ion-exchange adsorption methods to remove oxoanions from drinking water sources. Depending on the desired products (N2 versus NH3), I will show how the reaction selectivity can be controlled by reaction conditions and metal composition. I will explain how wastewater presents challenges to catalysis chemistry that, if surmounted, can provide opportunities for reuse of the treated water.

  • 10:30 Refreshments
  • 10:45–12:00 Talk