Seminar Series 3 : Dr. Hadi Nur

Heterogeneous Chemocatalysis: Catalysis
by Chemical Design – A Personal Experience

Ibnu Sina Institute for Fundamental Science Studies, University Teknologi Malaysia

16 April 2008

Lecture Theatre 1
Ibnu Sina Institute for Fundamental Science Studie
University Teknologi Malaysia


This author started his research activity on heterogeneous catalysis in 1995 as a Ph.D. student at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. He tackled a project on the synthesis, characterization and catalytic activity of ultra-large pore of aluminophoshate molecular sieves, VPI-5, just recently successfully synthesized by Prof. Mark Davis and his co-workers. After six months experimental work, the author failed to synthesize VPI-5. Everything in the auhor’s Ph.D. thesis comes from the last twelve months in the laboratory. Nonetheless, since the author had another project on synthesis of zeolite from rice husk ash that both worked at once, he ended up with three international publications together on the study of the structure, physicochemical properties and catalytic activity of metal substituted AlPO4-5. This author also proposed and successful in synthesizing NaA zeolite directly from rice husk and carbonaceous rice husk ash. He finally found out what independently doing good science. It was an exhilarating period. The author finished his Ph.D. project in two and half years in 1998. The author continued work as a postdoctoral fellow for one year at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. In 1999, the author was fortunate enough to land a postdoctoral position at Catalysis Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan. In two years as JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Postdoctoral Fellow and continued stay as COE (Center of Excellent) visiting researcher at Catalysis Research Center for half year, the author published a seminal paper on a new concept in heterogeneous catalysis termed “Phase-boundary catalysis”. During stay in Japan, the author learns how to do science right. In May 2002, for one year, the author joined the Ibnu Sina Institute for Fundamental Science Studies, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia as research officer and in 2003 he accepted his first academic position as lecturer at this university. In this review, an attempt will be made to classify several heterogeneous catalytic systems which contain examples from the author’s experience in this research area. The author’s scientific research in heterogeneous catalysis has been classified into five classes: single center catalyst, hydrophobic-hydrophilic catalytic system, bifunctional catalyst, synergetic multi reaction center catalyst and photocatalyst. The catalysts have been designed for synthesis of useful organic compounds. For detailed information on the research projects and for acquiring some knowledge on research in the covered fields the reader is referred to the pertinent recent publications and references therein.