I was awarded the bachelor’s degree of Chemistry Department of Zhejiang University in July 1985 and the doctor’s degree of Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) in July 1991. After being appointed the Associate Professor of Chemistry Department of Zhejiang University, I spent my postdoctoral time in Texas A&M University from September 1995 to October 1998. In 1999, I was promoted research professor, leader of the research group and Ph.D. Supervisor of DICP. Since 2016, I started to act as the part-time professor of Hangzhou Institute of Advanced Studies of Zhejiang Normal University. My research fields focus on the R & D of catalytic materials and catalytic processes in syngas conversion, fine chemicals and biomass conversion. Specially, we are interesting in both industrial application and fundamental understanding of heterogeneous catalysis. Now, eight catalytic technologies (PDP and corresponding catalyst) have been commercialized, including naphtha and diesel directly synthesis via Fischer-Tropsch reaction using a Co/AC catalyst and slurry reactor (150 kt/a), five catalytic technologies are being commercialized, including C2-C18 mixed alcohols synthesis from syngas; and four pilot test catalytic techniques have being carried out, including methanol to ethanol process and a heterogeneous hydroformylation catalysis with a single active sites catalyst.
Utilization of non-precious transition metals for high alcohols and olefins synthesis is of a great importance in heterogeneous catalysis. We synthesized successfully Li and Mn promoted AC supported cobalt metal-carbide (Co@Co2C/AC) catalysts, which present remarkable activity of more than 200g/kg-cat.h and selectivities of ca. 65 C% both for alpha-alcohols and alpha-olefins via the Fischer-Tropsch reaction at the mild conditions. The formation of the stable cobalt carbide and the Co@Co2C interface are found essential for the observed reactivity. The results of characterization from In-situ EXAFS, in-situ XRD, HRTEM, XSP, and chemo-adsorption of H2 and CO experiments showed that Mn promotes the formation of Co2C species during Fischer-Tropsch reaction and Li increased the CO uptake, while both promoters have little impact on the amount of H2 uptakes. Density functional theory calculations show that Co2C is highly efficient for CO non-dissociative adsorption, behaving as noble-metal-like, whereas the Co metal is highly active for CO dissociative adsorption and the subsequent carbon-chain growth. The interface between the cobalt metal and its carbide phase as well as the dual sites available at the interface for facile CO insertion to CnHm-groups formed on the Co sites. The remarkably high alpha-alcohol and alpha-olefins selectivities from the Li and Mn promotion effects, namely the formation of more interfacial active sites between Co and Co2C and enhancement of the ratio for chemo-adsorption CO to H2 uptake on the surface of Co@Co2C/AC catalysts, paves a new way for the design of the new catalysts for synthesizing various high value-products in syngas applications.