Dr. Fabio Ribeiro:
Kinetics of Heterogeneous Catalytic Reactions

Event Date: April 29, 2014
Hosted By: CoE Academic Affairs
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: FRNY G140
Contact Name: Marsha Freeland
Open To: All
Dr. Fabio H. Ribeiro


Products made from catalysts contribute to about 35% of the global GNP. These remarkable and complex materials allow reactions to occur without being consumed. They are used in the petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical industries and even in every car and truck! Most of the catalysts in use are porous solids and are called heterogeneous catalysts. The tradition in the US is that these materials are studied in Chemical Engineering Schools, although the research area is primarily Physical Chemistry.  Research in catalysis encompasses materials synthesis, chemical and structural characterization, chemical kinetics, and electronic structure calculations. Purdue is one of a few institutions that has a team with all the necessary players. Our quest is to understand, at a molecular level, how the catalytic sites work and to use that knowledge to improve catalytic performance. Our main tool is the measurement of reaction kinetics. I will illustrate with examples from our group how we study catalysts.


Fabio H. Ribeiro is currently the R. Norris and Eleanor Shreve Professor of Chemical Engineering at the School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University.  He received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 1989, worked for Catalytica, Inc. in Mountain View, California, held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California – Berkeley, and was on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute faculty before joining Purdue University in August 2003.  His research interests are centered on the kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic reactions and catalyst characterization under reaction conditions.  He has over 100 publications in scholarly journals.  He was Chair for the American Institute of Chemical Engineer’s Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division (2010) and is editor for Journal of Catalysis.  His honors include the NSF CAREER award (1997-2002), the Excellence in Catalysis Award from the Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York (2005), designation as a Purdue University Faculty Scholar (2006-10) and the Henry J. Albert Award from the International Precious Metals Institute (2012).