Updated Abstract and Research Check-In Part 1

Research began on May 30th. I learned on Day 1 from my professor that I would no longer be researching organometallic-catalyzed oxygen reduction, which I had initially planned on researching this summer, and would now be transferred to a new, independent project: catalyzing the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR), a necessary step for green catalytic hydrogenation of organic molecules. The goal is to synthesize and identify a catalyst that can selectively hydrogenate molecules, producing as little waste as possible. For the first few weeks of research, I electrochemically tested various catalysts that the lab had synthesized over the past 5 years using an instrument named a cyclic voltammogram. Upon conclusion that none of the catalysts were active for HOR– unfortunate yet unsurprising, since none of the catalysts were designed for that purpose – my professor assigned me the task of synthesizing a new catalyst with HOR in mind. I now turn to journals of past lab members to learn the procedure for synthesizing the ligands necessary for these organometallic catalysts, with a new twist: a different state of the metal, which should help with the HOR.


  1. rabeaver says:

    When looking for a catalyst for a reaction, are you basically stabbing in the dark or is there reasoning behind your choices? Based on prior reading (mostly Alchemy of Air–which is a really good book incidentally) I’ve been given the impression that when someone needs to find a catalyst for something they toss random metals into the reaction and look to see if they do anything. This sounds like what you were doing with the prior catalysts that the lab had created. I wish you luck and look forward to reading more about what works for your reaction.