Faculty Directory
Justin M. Notestein

Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering

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 (magna 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

  • Wang, Qining; Duan, Jiaxin “Dawn”; Goetjen, Timothy; Hupp, Joseph; Notestein, Justin, Bimetallic NiCu catalysts supported on a Metal-Organic framework for Non-oxidative ethanol dehydrogenation, Journal of Catalysis (2023).
  • Ramos-Yataco, Jordy; Notestein, Justin, Assessment of catalysts for oxidative coupling of methane and ethylene, Catalysis Today (2023).
  • Hicks, Kenton E.; Wolek, Andrew T.Y.; Farha, Omar K.; Notestein, Justin M., The Dependence of Olefin Hydrogenation and Isomerization Rates on Zirconium Metal-Organic Framework Structure, ACS Catalysis (2022).
  • Wang, Qining; Pengmei, Zihan; Pandharkar, Riddhish; Gagliardi, Laura; Hupp, Joseph T.; Notestein, Justin M., Investigating the effect of metal nuclearity on activity for ethylene hydrogenation by metal-organic-framework-supported oxy-Ni(II) catalysts, Journal of Catalysis (2022).
  • Wang, Xingjie; Xie, Haomiao; Knapp, Julia G.; Wasson, Megan C.; Wu, Yufang; Ma, Kaikai; Stone, Aaron E.B.S.; Krzyaniak, Matthew D.; Chen, Yijing; Zhang, Xuan; Notestein, Justin M.; Wasielewski, Michael R.; Farha, Omar K., Mechanistic Investigation of Enhanced Catalytic Selectivity toward Alcohol Oxidation with Ce Oxysulfate Clusters, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2022).
  • Bhagat, Mihir N.; Chang, Gao Fong; Bennett, Charmaine K.; Raghuraman, Arjun; Belowich, Matthew E.; Broadbelt, Linda J.; Nguyen, Son Binh T.; Notestein, Justin M., Improving and stabilizing fluorinated aryl borane catalysts for epoxide ring-opening, Applied Catalysis A: General (2022).
  • Yan, Huan; Alayoglu, Selim; Wu, Weiqiang; Zhang, Yongbo; Weitz, Eric; Stair, Peter C.; Notestein, Justin M., Identifying Boron Active Sites for the Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Propane, ACS Catalysis 11(15):9370-9376 (2021).
  • Cheng, Emily; Notestein, Justin, Catalytic dehydrogenation of isobutane over supported MoOx/K-Al2O3, Journal of Catalysis 397:212-222 (2021).
  • Yan, Huan; He, Kun; Samek, Izabela A.; Jing, Dian; Nanda, MacY G.; Stair, Peter C.; Notestein, Justin M., Tandem In2O3-Pt/Al2O3catalyst for coupling of propane dehydrogenation to selective H2combustion, Science 371(6535):1257-1260 (2021).
  • Wolek, Andrew T.Y.; Ardagh, M. Alexander; Pham, Hien N.; Alayoglu, Selim; Datye, Abhaya K.; Notestein, Justin M., Creating Brønsted acidity at the SiO2-Nb2O5 interface, Journal of Catalysis 394:387-396 (2021).
  • Alexander Ardagh, M.; Bregante, Daniel T.; Flaherty, David W.; Notestein, Justin M., Controlled deposition of silica on titania-silica to alter the active site surroundings on epoxidation catalysts, ACS Catalysis 10(21):13008-13018 (2020).
  • Barona, Melissa; Ahn, Sol; Morris, William; Hoover, William; Notestein, Justin M.; Farha, Omar K.; Snurr, Randall Q., Computational Predictions and Experimental Validation of Alkane Oxidative Dehydrogenation by Fe2M MOF Nodes, ACS Catalysis 10(2):1460-1469 (2020).
  • Ahn, Sol; Nauert, Scott L.; Hicks, Kenton E.; Ardagh, M. Alexander; Schweitzer, Neil M.; Farha, Omar K.; Notestein, Justin M., Demonstrating the Critical Role of Solvation in Supported Ti and Nb Epoxidation Catalysts via Vapor-Phase Kinetics, ACS Catalysis 10(4):2817-2825 (2020).
  • Nauert, Scott L.; Rosen, Andrew S.; Kim, Hacksung; Snurr, Randall Q.; Stair, Peter C.; Notestein, Justin M., Evidence for Copper Dimers in Low-Loaded CuOx/SiO2 Catalysts for Cyclohexane Oxidative Dehydrogenation, ACS Catalysis 8(10):9775-9789 (2018).
  • Bregante, Daniel T.; Thornburg, Nicholas E.; Notestein, Justin M.; Flaherty, David W., Consequences of Confinement for Alkene Epoxidation with Hydrogen Peroxide on Highly Dispersed Group 4 and 5 Metal Oxide Catalysts, ACS Catalysis 8(4):2995-3010 (2018).
  • Ahn, Sol; Nauert, Scott L.; Buru, Cassandra T.; Rimoldi, Martino; Choi, Hyeju; Schweitzer, Neil M.; Hupp, Joseph T.; Farha, Omar K.; Notestein, Justin M., Pushing the Limits on Metal-Organic Frameworks as a Catalyst Support, Journal of the American Chemical Society 140(27):8535-8543 (2018).
  • Griffin, James; Taw, Eric; Gosavi, Abha; Thornburg, Nicholas E.; Pramanda, Ihsan; Lee, Hyung Sool; Gray, Kimberly A.; Notestein, Justin M.; Wells, George, Hybrid Approach for Selective Sulfoxidation via Bioelectrochemically Derived Hydrogen Peroxide over a Niobium(V)-Silica Catalyst, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering 6(6):7880-7889 (2018).
  • Yu, Ying; Zhu, Youlong; Bhagat, Mihir N.; Raghuraman, Arjun; Hirsekorn, Kurt F.; Notestein, Justin M.; Nguyen, Sonbinh T.; Broadbelt, Linda J., Mechanism of Regioselective Ring-Opening Reactions of 1,2-Epoxyoctane Catalyzed by Tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane, ACS Catalysis 8(12):11119-11133 (2018).
  • Nauert, Scott L.; Schax, Fabian; Limberg, Christian; Notestein, Justin M., Cyclohexane oxidative dehydrogenation over copper oxide catalysts, Journal of Catalysis 341:180-190 (2016).
  • Grosso-Giordano, Nicolás A.; Eaton, Todd R.; Bo, Zhenyu; Yacob, Sara; Yang, Chieh Chao; Notestein, Justin M., Silica support modifications to enhance Pd-catalyzed deoxygenation of stearic acid, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 192:93-100 (2016).
  • Ahn, Sol; Thornburg, Nicholas E.; Li, Zhanyong; Wang, Timothy C.; Gallington, Leighanne C.; Chapman, Karena W.; Notestein, Justin M; Hupp, Joseph T; Farha, Omar k, Stable metal-organic framework-supported niobium catalysts, Inorganic Chemistry 55(22):11954-11961 (2016).
  • Schwartzenberg, K. C.; Hamilton, J. W.J.; Lucid, A. K.; Weitz, E.; Notestein, J.; Nolan, M.; Byrne, J. A.; Gray, K. A., Multifunctional photo/thermal catalysts for the reduction of carbon dioxide, Catalysis Today 280:65-73 (2017).
  • McCullough, Lauren R.; Childers, David J.; Watson, Rachel A.; Kilos, Beata A.; Barton, David G.; Weitz, Eric; Kung, Harold H.; Notestein, Justin M., Acceptorless Dehydrogenative Coupling of Neat Alcohols Using Group VI Sulfide Catalysts, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering 5(6):4890-4896 (2017).
  • Roberts, Charles A.; Savereide, Louisa; Childers, David J.; Peck, Torin C.; Notestein, Justin M, In situ FTIR spectroscopy of highly dispersed FeOx catalysts for NO reduction, Catalysis Today 267:56-64 (2016).
  • Yacob, Sara; Kilos, Beata A.; Barton, David G.; Notestein, Justin M., Vapor phase ethanol carbonylation over Rh supported on zeolite 13X, Applied Catalysis A: General 520:122-131 (2016).
  • Contreras, Christian A.; Ignacio-De Leon, Patricia Anne A.; Notestein, Justin M., Synthesis of a family of peracid-silica materials and their use as alkene epoxidation reagents, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 225:289-295 (2016).
  • Yang, Chieh Chao; Yacob, Sara; Kilos, Beata A.; Barton, David G.; Weitz, Eric; Notestein, Justin M., Increased productivity in ethylene carbonylation by zeolite-supported molybdenum carbonyls, Journal of Catalysis 338:313-320 (2016).
  • Ignacio-De Leon, Patricia Anne A.; Contreras, Christian A.; Thornburg, Nicholas E.; Thompson, Anthony B.; Notestein, Justin M., Catalyst structure and substituent effects on epoxidation of styrenics with immobilized Mn(tmtacn) complexes, Applied Catalysis A: General 511:78-86 (2016).
  • Thornburg, Nicholas E.; Liu, Yangyang; Li, Peng; Hupp, Joseph T.; Farha, Omar K.; Notestein, Justin M., MOFs and their grafted analogues, Catalysis Science and Technology 6(17):6480-6484 (2016).
  • Bachrach, Mark; Marks, Tobin Jay; Notestein, Justin M, Understanding the Hydrodenitrogenation of Heteroaromatics on a Molecular Level, ACS Catalysis 6(3):1455-1476 (2016).