Faculty Directory
Justin M. Notestein

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech E250
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-5357Email Justin Notestein


Notestein Research Group


Chemical and Biological Engineering

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Post-doc Fellow Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, IL

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA

B.S.E Chemical Engineering (magma cum laude), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Research Interests

Catalysis science, energy, materials and nanoscience

Catalytic materials are central to most industrial processes. We develop novel designs and syntheses of catalysts, adsorbents, and other functional materials especially for the purpose of more sustainable routes to important chemicals and fuels. We frequently collaborate with industry and national laboratories on such projects. We typically synthesize materials by modifying existing particle or MOF surfaces with organic functionalities (e.g. amines or carboxylates), inorganic complexes (e.g. Mn triazacyclononane, Ta calixarenes) or we build up additional, ultra-thin oxide layers. These groups are intended to control isolated or cooperative active sites consisting of acids, bases, redox groups, metals, and designed cavities in ways that can be difficult to engineer with traditional homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts. The active sites on these new materials are also functional models for spectroscopy and simulation for the development of improved structure-function relationships. It is our guiding hypothesis that increasing control over - and diversity of - the active sites available for heterogeneous catalysts promises to yield new, more selective, and better understood chemical transformations.

We have developed supported metal nanoparticle catalysts, oxide catalysts, immobilized molecular catalysts, and nanocavity catalysts. Chemical transformations currently being explored include selective oxidation, NO reduction, hydrotreating (hydrodenitrogenation and hydrodeoxygenation), photocatalysis, CO2 photoreduction, carbon capture and conversion, aldol condensation and related reactions, sugar and other biomass conversions, dehydration, decarboxylation, and selective adsorption of butanol and other molecules. An overarching long-term goal is to be able to design systems of active sites on a single surface capable of complex, efficient transformations of challenging molecules, in ways that mimic the connectivity of biological reaction pathways.

Selected Publications

    1. Z. Bo, S. Ahn, M. A. Ardagh, N. M. Schweitzer, C.P. Canlas, O.K. Farha, J.M. Notestein, “Synthesis and Stabilization of Small Pt Nanoparticles on TiO2 partially Masked by SiO2,” Appl. Catal. A 2017, in press.
    2. N.E. Thornburg, J.M. Notestein, “Rate and selectivity control in thioether and alkene oxidation with H2O2 over phosphonate-modified niobium(V)-silica catalysts,” ChemCatChem, 2017, in press.
    3. L.R. McCullough, D.J. Childers, R.A. Watson, B.A. Kilos, D. Barton, E. Weitz, H.H. Kung, J.M. Notestein, “Acceptorless dehydrogenative coupling of neat alcohols using Group VI sulfide catalysts,” ACS Sustainable Chem. & Eng. 2017, 5, 4890-4896.
    4. S. Ahn, N. Thornburg, Z. Li, T. Wang, L. Gallington, K. Chapman, J. Notestein, J. Hupp, O. Farha, “Stable Metal–Organic Framework Supported Niobium Catalysts,” Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 11954-11961.
    5. M. A. Ardagh, Z. Bo, S. L. Nauert, J. M. Notestein, “Depositing SiO2 on Al2O3: a route to tunable Bronsted acid catalysts,” ACS Catal., 2016, 6, 6156-6164.
    6. N. E. Thornburg, S. L. Nauert, A. B. Thompson, J. M. Notestein, “Synthesis-structure-function relationships of silica-supported niobium(V) catalysts for alkene epoxidation with H2O2,” ACS Catal., 2016, 6, 6124-6134.
    7. M. Bachrach, T. Marks, J.M. Notestein, “Understanding the Hydrodenitrogenation of Heteroaromatics on a Molecular Level,” ACS Catal., 2016, 6, 1455-1476.
    8. S. L. Nauert, F. Schax, C. Limberg, J. M. Notestein, “Cyclohexane oxidative dehydrogenation over copper oxide catalysts,” J. Catal., 2016, 341, 180-190.
    9. C.C. Yang, B.A. Kilos, D.G. Barton, E. Weitz, J.M. Notestein, “Increased Productivity in Ethylene Carbonylation by Zeolite-Supported Molybdenum Carbonyls,” J. Catal., 2016, 338, 313-320.
    10. M. Bachrach, T. Marks*, J. M. Notestein, “C-N bond hydrogenolysis of aniline and cyclohexylamine over TaOx-Al2O3,” New J. Chem., 2016, 7, 6001-6004.
    11. N. E. Thornburg, Y. Liu, P. Li, J. T. Hupp, O. K. Farha, J. M. Notestein, “MOFs and their grafted analogues: regioselective epoxide ring-opening with Zr6 nodes,” Catal. Sci. Technol., 2016, 6, 6480-6484.
    12. S. Yacob, B.A. Kilos, D. G. Barton, J.M. Notestein, “Vapor Phase Ethanol Carbonylation Over Rh Supported on Zeolite 13X,” Appl. Catal. A., 2016, 520, 122-131.
    13. P. A. Ignacio de Leon, C.A. Contreras, N.E. Thornburg, A.B. Thompson, J.M. Notestein, “Catalyst structure and substituent effects on epoxidation of styrenics with immobilized Mn(tmtacn) complexes,” Appl. Catal. A., 2016, 511, 78-86.
    14. N.A. Grosso-Giordano, T. Eaton, Z. Bo, S. Yacob, C.C. Yang, J.M. Notestein, “Silica Support Modifications to Enhance Pd-catalyzed Deoxygenation of Stearic Acid,” Appl. Catal. B., 2016, 192, 93-100.
    15. C.A. Contreras, P.A. Ignacio de Leon, J.M. Notestein, “Synthesis of a family of peracid-silica materials and their use as alkene epoxidation reagents,” Microporous Mesoporous Mater., 2016, 225, 289-295.
    16. N.E. Thornburg, A.B. Thompson, J.M. Notestein, “Periodic Trends in Highly Dispersed Groups IV and V Supported Metal Oxide Catalysts for Alkene Epoxidation with H2O2,” ACS Catal. 2015, 5, 5077-5088.
    17. D. Prieto-Centurion, T. R. Eaton, C.A. Roberts, P.T. Fanson, J.M. Notestein, “Catalytic reduction of NO with H2 over redox-cycling Fe on CeO2,” Appl. Catal. B, 2015, 168, 68-76.
    18. Z. Bo, T. R. Eaton, J. R. Gallagher, C.P. Canlas, J. T. Miller, J. M. Notestein, Size-selective synthesis and stabilization of small Ag nanoparticles on TiO2 partially masked by SiO2. Chem. Mater. 2015, 27, 1269-1277.
    19. S. Yacob, S. Park, B.A. Kilos, D. G. Barton, J.M. Notestein, “Vapor phase ethanol carbonylation with heteropolyacid-supported Rh,”J. Catal. 2015, 325, 1-8.
    20. M. Bachrach, N. Morlanes, C. P. Canlas, J. T. Miller, T. J. Marks, J. M. Notestein, “Increasing the Aromatic Selectivity of Quinoline Hydrogenolysis Using Pd/MOx–Al2O3,” Catal. Lett. 2014, 144, 1832-1838.
    21. C-C Yang, B. A. Kilos, D. G. Barton, E. Weitz, J. M. Notestein, “The role of iodide promoters and the mechanism of ethylene carbonylation catalyzed by molybdenum hexacarbonyl,” J. Catal. 2014, 319, 211-219.
    22. T. R. Eaton, A. M. Boston, A. B. Thompson, K. A. Gray, J. M. Notestein, “Counting Active Sites on Titanium Oxide–Silica Catalysts for Hydrogen Peroxide Activation through In Situ Poisoning with Phenylphosphonic Acid,” ChemCatChem 2014, 6, 3215-3222.
    23. A. B. Thompson, R. C. Scholes, J. M. Notestein, “Recovery of Dilute Aqueous Acetone, Butanol, and Ethanol with Immobilized Calixarene Cavities,” ACS Appl. Mater. & Interfaces, 2014, 6, 289-297.
    24. T. R. Eaton, M. P. Campos, K. A. Gray, J. M. Notestein, “Quantifying accessible sites and reactivity on titania-silica (photo)catalysis: Refining TOF calculations,” J. Catal. 2014, 309, 156-165.