R. B. Wetherill Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical Engineering
Brown Laboratory of Chemistry
560 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
One of my laboratory's hallmarks is that we combine mechanistic/physical studies and synthetic chemistry. We are currently engaged in three projects that span fundamental atom and electron transfer reactions in porphyrin/heme systems, catalytic conversion of biomass, and kinetics of single-site olefin polymerization catalysts. Our research is funded by external grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Highlighted below are our most recent accomplishments.
Major Research Accomplishments of the Abu-Omar Group:
- Discovered rhenium catalyzed DeOxyDeHydration reaction (DODH) and applied its utility to conversion of biomass-derived molecules such as glycerol and sugar alcohols to small and useful organics (SUO).
- Developed synergistic and tandem catalysis for conversion of lignin to aromatic compounds using synergistic effects between Pd nanoparticles and divalent zinc Lewis acid.
- Established the chemical mechanism for the biological detoxification of chlorite to innocuous chloride and dioxygen with the heme enzyme chlorite dismutase.
- Demonstrated the use of manganese and ruthenium water-soluble porphyrin complexes as catalysts for generation of chlorine dioxide from chlorite under ambient temperature and neutral pH.
- Established the utility of molecular weight distribution (MWD) as a tool for studying and defining the kinetics of single-site olefin polymerization catalysts.
We are a part of the Purdue Catalysis Center, which fosters interaction among faculty and students in catalysis research groups by collaborating on research projects, sharing resources and facilities, and holding weekly joint group meetings.
Awards and Honors
"Cleavage and Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of C-O Bonds Relevant to Lignin Conversion Using Pd/Zn Synergistic Catalysis," T. Parsell, B. Owen, I. Klein, T. Jarrell, C. Marcum, L. Haupert, L. Amundson, H. Kenttamaa, F. Ribeiro, J. T. Miller, and M. M. Abu-Omar, Chem. Sci., 4, 806-813, 2013.
"Rhenium-Catalyzed Transfer Hydrogenation and Deoxygenation of Biomass-Derived Polyols to Small and Useful Organics," J. Yi, S. Liu, and M. M. Abu-Omar, ChemSusChem, 5, 1401-1404, 2012
"Kinetic Modeling of 1-Hexene Polymerization Catalyzed by Zr(tBu-ONNMe2O)Bn2/B(C6F5)3," J. M. Switzer, N. E. Travia, D. K. Steelman, G. A. Medvedev, K. T. Thomson, W. N. Delgass, M. M. Abu-Omar, and J. M. Caruthers, Macromolecules, 45, 4978-4988, 2012
"Direct conversion of cellulose and lignocellulosic biomass into chemicals and biofuel with metal chloride catalysts," S. Dutta, S. De, Md. I. Alam, M. M. Abu-Omar, B. Saha, J. Cat., 288, 8-15, 2012
"Conversion of carbohydrates and lignocellulosic biomass into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural using AlCl3??6H2O catalyst in a biphasic solvent system," Y. Yang , C. Hu, and M. M. Abu-Omar, Green Chem., 14, 509-513, 2012
"Selective Conversion of Biomass Hemicellulose to Furfural Using Maleic Acid with Microwave Heating," E. S. Kim, S. Liu, M. M. Abu-Omar, and N. S. Mosier, Energy Fuels, 26, 1298-1304, 2012
"High-valent complexes of iron and manganese complexes of corrole and porphyrin in atom transfer and dioxygen evolving catalysis," M. M. Abu-Omar, Dalton Trans., 40, 3435-3444, 2011