Our mission is to establish new concepts in heterogeneous catalysis that can enable the sustainable and renewable production of chemicals with precise atomic and molecular level detail. The broader impact of our work is to enable green technologies and educate the engineering workforce of the future.

The Khatib Lab performs research, coupled with undergraduate and graduate level education, focusing on diverse aspects of heterogeneous catalysis. Our research includes nano and molecular catalyst synthesis, structural characterization, and kinetic testing, as well as catalytic reactor engineering, applied to chemically sustainable catalytic processes with industrial and energy applications. This includes the following topics:

  • Natural gas conversion into useful chemicals.
  • Dehydroaromatization reactions, production of cyclic organic compounds (benzene).
  • Design of catalysts composed of oxides, metals, and carbides supported on porous supports.
  • Bio-inspired catalysts for heterogeneous chemical conversion.
  • Catalyst stability, strategies for regeneration, and deactivation pathways.

One of our current research topics focuses on the catalytic methane aromatization process, which is a sustainable reaction for the direct conversion of methane, from natural gas to benzene and hydrogen; we are developing novel zeolite-supported metal carbide catalysts with improved benzene selectivity and lower propensity to deactivation by carbon deposition. We are also investigating the evolution of supported mixed metal oxide catalysts, with the goal of understanding, at a molecular level, what structural changes are taking place in the active phases during the aromatization reaction. Our goal is to establish a correlation between the reaction pathways and their influence on the deactivation and regeneration pathways. To perform our studies, we are combining ex situ with in situ and operando characterization techniques, to obtain a more realistic picture of the structural and chemical changes that take place in the catalytic phases under dynamic reaction conditions.


Brookhaven National Laboratory

Chemistry Department, CRS Group

Sanjaya Senanayake

Jose Rodriguez


National Synchrotron Light Source II

ISS: Eli Stavitski

CSX-2: Adrian Hunt and Iradwikanari Waluyo


Center for Functional Nanomaterials

TEM/STEM: Andrew Gamalski

Texas Tech University

Department of Chemistry

Michael Findlater

Dominick Casadonte


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© Khatib Laboratory. Last updated July 21, 2017.