Our group is active in the development of homogeneous catalysts for energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and selective conversion of hydrocarbons to their value-added functionalized derivatives, such as alcohols (methane-to-methanol conversion), phenols, esters, olefins, or higher molecular weight alkanes (methane to ethane conversion) etc.
Importantly, we use oxygen and/or hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizing agents in our chemistry and water or carboxylic acids as a solvent. We use platinum and palladium compounds as homogeneous catalysts. We design ligands to tune the reactivity of these metals for specific reactions involved in desirable catalytic transformations and study mechanisms of these reactions.
Our group is a part of a DOE Energy Research Frontier Center (Director, T. Brent Gunnoe, University of Virginia).