Research Interests

The conversion and upgrading of molecules intended for use as energy carriers, the derivatization and functionalization of these molecules to chemicals and polymer precursors, and the mitigation of the environmental consequences of the use of fuels and chemicals are enabled by processes based on heterogeneous catalysts. Catalysis, its practice and its concepts, will remain relevant as we respond to changes in feedstock availability and type. With this mindset, our group focuses on the molecular-level description and control of catalytic chemistries relevant for the transformation of transitional sources of fuels and feedstocks such as natural gas and biomass..

The functional characterization of reactivity is accomplished by isotopic tracer and transient studies, chemical transient methods, and steady-state kinetic measurements to determine the evolution of surface species and reaction intermediates prevalent under reaction conditions. These kinetics and mechanistic studies are complemented by general structural and chemical characterization studies using X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, porosity measurements, thermal analysis techniques and infrared and NMR spectroscopies. In intimate collaboration with these experimental studies, computational studies using Density Functional Theory (DFT) are done to examine molecule-surface interactions and chemical rearrangements relevant for these chemistries.

Our integrated experimental/ theoretical approach lies at the crossroads of materials synthesis, computational catalysis and catalytic chemistry and aims to advance our ability to understand, design and control chemical transformations using catalysis.

Research Areas

Recent News:


  • Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, 2023
  • Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis, North American Catalysis Society, 2023
  • Shell Chair Professor in Chemical Engineering, 2018
  • Young Scientist Award, Acid Base Catalysis Society, 2017
  • Editor, Journal of Catalysis, 2017
  • Ipatieff Prize, American Chemical Society, 2016
  • Richard A. Glenn Award, Energy & Fuels Division (ENFL) American Chemical Society, 2016
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2011
  • US Department of Energy Early Career Award, 2012
  • McKnight Land Grant Assistant Professor, 2011-2013
  • College of Science and Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award, 2011
  • 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award, 2011-2013

Selected Publications

  • Neil K. Razdan; Aditya Bhan; "Kinetic description of site ensembles on catalytic surfaces” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118 (2021) e2019055118
  • Zhichen Shi; Aditya Bhan; “Tuning the Ethylene-to-Propylene Ratio in Methanol-to-Olefins Catalysis on Window-Cage Type Zeolites” Journal of Catalysis 395 (2021) 266-272
  • Brandon L. Foley; Aditya Bhan; “Degree of rate control and De Donder relations – An interpretation based on transition state theory” Journal of Catalysis 384 (2020) 231-251
  • Matthew C. Simons; Jenny G. Vitillo; Melike Babucci; Adam S. Hoffman; Alexey Boubnov; Michelle L. Beauvais; Zhihengyu Chen; Christopher J. Cramer; Karena W. Chapman; Simon R. Bare; Bruce C. Gates; Connie C. Lu; Laura Gagliardi; Aditya Bhan; "Structure, Dynamics, and Reactivity for Light Alkane Oxidation of Fe(II) Sites Situated in the Nodes of a Metal–Organic Framework" Journal of the American Chemical Society 141 (2019) 18142-18151.
  • Neil K. Razdan; Anurag Kumar; Brandon L. Foley; Aditya Bhan; "Influence of ethylene and acetylene on the rate and reversibility of methane dehydroaromatization on Mo/H-ZSM-5 catalysts" Journal of Catalysis 381 (2020) 271-270.
  • James W. Harris; Jeffrey A. Heron; Joseph F. DeWilde; Aditya Bhan; “Molecular characteristics governing chlorine deposition and removal on promoted Ag catalysts during ethylene epoxidation” Journal of Catalysis 377 (2019) 378-388.
  • Andrew Hwang; Aditya Bhan; “Deactivation of zeolites and zeotypes in methanol-to-hydrocarbons catalysis: Mechanisms and circumvention” Accounts of Chemical Research 52 (2019) 2647-2656.
  • Jacob H. Miller; Linh Bui; Aditya Bhan; “Pathways, mechanisms, and kinetics: A strategy to examine byproduct selectivity in partial oxidation catalytic transformations on reducible oxides” Reaction Chemistry & Engineering 4 (2019) 784-805.
  • Sukaran S. Arora; Davy L. Nieskens; Andrzej Malek; Aditya Bhan; “Lifetime improvements in methanol-to-olefins catalysis over CHA materials by high pressure H2 co-feeds” Nature Catalysis 1 (2018) 666-672.
Aditya Bhan in Lab


Phone: 612/626-3981

Office: 486 Amundson Hall

Group Page

Support Professor Aditya Bhan in his research 

  • Postdoc, Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley 2005-2007
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 2005
  • B.Tech. Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, 2000