Fred Sollberger

Graduate Research Assistant

Co-advised by Professors Fabio Ribeiro and W. Nicholas Delgass

Professional Networks



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. Chemical Engineering (2010)
Purdue University, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering (2010 – present)


  • Andrews Fellowship (2010 - 2012)

More About Fred

Originally from Morton, IL, Fred completed his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering with high distinction from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2010. At Purdue he was a recipient of an Andrews Fellowship from 2010-12. His hobbies include numismatics, training his talking parrot, and volunteering with his local church.

Project Description

As part of the Institute for Atom-efficient Chemical Transformations (IACT), this project pursues the selective conversion of molecules from biomass into useful chemicals and fuels. One source of renewable chemicals is the aqueous phase reforming of sugars and sugar alcohols over supported platinum catalysts to produce hydrocarbons or hydrogen. Our objective is to study the role of alloying platinum with a second metal such as cobalt or molybdenum to increase the rate of glycerol reforming while maintaining high selectivity to hydrogen by C-C bond scission. We do this through kinetic studies, operando x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), and transmission electron microscopy to identify the active state of the catalyst, as well as the alloy configuration and morphology. In particular, operando XAS allows us to study the catalyst while the products are being monitored in order to ensure that the catalyst is turning over normally.