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Abstract: In heterogeneous catalysis, the control of anions in solids remains a relatively unexplored means to induce catalytic activity. Occasionally, oxides, halides, and sulfides have been examined respectively for oxidation, halogenation, and hydrodesulfurization reactions. What then, is the case of hydrides for hydrogenations? Most of the time, the interaction of hydrogen has been generally limited to the surfaces of supported noble metals rather than bulk materials. In terms of solid state chemistry, the scope of hydride-based compounds are relatively limited, and thus have been rarely examined systematically for catalysis despite being a potentially large material group.
Here, I will present our results with the use of hydrides in chemical and catalytic applications, with both existing and new hydride materials. We find that within solids, hydrides have certain properties which enhances exchange for both solid state reactions, and catalytic reactions with small molecules. For reactions such as NH3 synthesis or CO2 methanation, high activities and unusual mechanisms are observed, signifying that there is much potential for novel catalysts from new materials.
Biography: Yoji grew up in Europe and Japan. After undergraduate research in organometallic chemistry (Dartmouth College) and heterogeneous catalysis (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Yoji obtained his Ph. D. in inorganic materials (2008, Penn State, Thomas E. Mallouk) and did some work with MOFs (UC Berkeley, Jeffrey R. Long). Yoji has been at Kyoto University since 2010, and is currently an Associate Professor. His interests are solid state chemistry and inorganic materials, with a current emphasis on hydride-based new materials and their application to chemical reactions.