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Thursday, November 18, 2010 Meeting
Julius Stieglitz Award Lecture
Joint with the University of Chicago, Dept. of Chemistry
- Thursday-


Dr. Mark E. Davis
Prof. Mark E. Davis

Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering,
California Institute of Technology,
Pasadena, CA

“New Heterogeneous Catalysts for Converting Sugars in Aqueous Media”

Date:  Thursday, November 18, 2010
Location:    The Wellington
2121 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-4105

Cost:  $30.00 for members of ACS and their guests, $32.00 for non-members,
     $15 for students, retired, or unemployed

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091), email (, or web by noon on Tuesday, November 16.   PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all food orders.  No-shows will be billed.  Seating will be available for those who wish to attend only the meeting.


5:00 PM Job Club
5:30 PM Social Hour
6:30 PM Dinner
8:00 PM General Meeting

Topic: “New Heterogeneous Catalysts for Converting Sugars in Aqueous Media”
by Manuel Moliner, Yuriy Román-Leshkov, Eranda Nikolla and Mark E. Davis


The isomerization of glucose into fructose is a large-scale reaction for the production of high-fructose corn syrup, and recently, is being considered as an intermediate step in the possible route of biomass to fuels and chemicals. It is shown that a large pore zeolite that contains tin (Sn-Beta) is able to isomerize glucose to fructose in aqueous media with high activity and selectivity. Specifically, a 10wt% glucose solution containing a catalytic amount of Sn-Beta (1:50 Sn:glucose molar ratio) gives product yields of approximately 46% (w/w) glucose, 31% (w/w) fructose, and 9% (w/w) mannose after 30 and 12 minutes of reaction at 383°K and 413°K, respectively. This reactivity is achieved also when a 45wt% glucose solution is converted. The Sn-Beta catalyst can be used for multiple cycles, and the reaction stops when the solid is removed, clearly indicating that the catalysis is occurring heterogeneously.

With isotopically labeled glucose, it is demonstrated (1H and 13C MAS NMR spectroscopy) that the isomerization reaction catalyzed by Sn-Beta in water proceeds by way of an intramolecular hydride shift, confirming that framework tin centers in Sn-Beta act as Lewis acids in aqueous media.  Most importantly, the Sn-Beta catalyst is able to perform the isomerization reaction in highly acidic, aqueous environments with equivalent activity and product distribution as in media without added acid. This enables Sn-Beta to couple isomerizations with other acid-catalyzed reactions, including hydrolysis/isomerization or isomerization/dehydration reaction sequences, including starch to fructose and glucose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF).


Mark E. Davis is the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology and a member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the City of Hope. He has over 350 scientific publications, two textbooks and over 50 patents.

Professor Davis was elected in the National Academy of Engineering in 1997 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. His research efforts involve materials synthesis in two general areas; namely, zeolites and other solids that can be used for molecular recognition and catalysis, and polymers for the delivery of a broad range of therapeutics.

He is the founder of Insert Therapeutics Inc., a company that focused on the use of cyclodextrin-containing polymers for drug delivery applications and Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a company based in Pasadena, CA that created the first RNAi therapeutic to reach the clinic for treating cancer. He has been a member of the scientific advisory boards of Symyx (Nasdaq: SMMX) and Alnylam (Nasdaq: ALNY).

He has also achieved All American Status for Masters Track and Field at both the 400 Meter and 200 Meter distances.

Map and Directions

Parking:   Free.  Enter from parking lot directly into the "Arlington Room".



Soup of the day;

Chef’s Salad with choice of three dressings;

Entrée choices of:

Chocolate Sundae



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