Faculty Directory
Justin M. Notestein

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 (magma 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

  • Andrew S. Rosen, Justin M Notestein, Randall Q Snurr, “Structure-Activity Relationships That Identify Metal-Organic Framework Catalysts for Methane Activation”, ACS Catalysis, (2019)
  • Scott L. Nauert, Andrew S. Rosen, Hacksung Kim, Randall Q Snurr, Peter Stair, Justin M Notestein, “Evidence for Copper Dimers in Low-Loaded CuOx/SiO2 Catalysts for Cyclohexane Oxidative Dehydrogenation”, ACS Catalysis, (2018)
  • Lauren R. McCullough, Emily S. Cheng, Abha A. Gosavi, Beata A. Kilos, David G. Barton, Eric Weitz, Harold H Kung, Justin M Notestein, “Gas phase acceptorless dehydrogenative coupling of ethanol over bulk MoS2 and spectroscopic measurement of structural disorder”, Journal of Catalysis, (2018)
  • Louisa Savereide, Scott L. Nauert, Charles A. Roberts, Justin M Notestein, “The effect of support morphology on CoOX/CeO2 catalysts for the reduction of NO by CO”, Journal of Catalysis, (2018)
  • Daniel T. Bregante, Nicholas E. Thornburg, Justin M Notestein, David W. Flaherty, “Consequences of Confinement for Alkene Epoxidation with Hydrogen Peroxide on Highly Dispersed Group 4 and 5 Metal Oxide Catalysts”, ACS Catalysis, (2018)
  • Ying Yu, Youlong Zhu, Mihir N. Bhagat, Arjun Raghuraman, Kurt F. Hirsekorn, Justin M Notestein, SonBinh Nguyen, Linda J Broadbelt, “Mechanism of Regioselective Ring-Opening Reactions of 1,2-Epoxyoctane Catalyzed by Tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane”, ACS Catalysis, (2018)
  • Scott L. Nauert, Louisa Savereide, Justin M Notestein, “Role of support Lewis acid strength in copper oxide catalyzed oxidative dehydrogenation of cyclohexane”, ACS Catalysis, (2018)
  • James Griffin, Eric Taw, Abha Gosavi, Nicholas E. Thornburg, Ihsan Pramanda, Hyung Sool Lee, Kimberly A Gray, Justin M Notestein, George Wells, “Hybrid Approach for Selective Sulfoxidation via Bioelectrochemically Derived Hydrogen Peroxide over a Niobium(V)-Silica Catalyst”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, (2018)
  • Zhenyu Bo, Sol Ahn, M. Alexander Ardagh, Neil M Schweitzer, Christian P. Canlas, Omar k Farha, Justin M Notestein, “Synthesis and stabilization of small Pt nanoparticles on TiO2 partially masked by SiO2 ”, Applied Catalysis A: General, (2018)
  • Chao Liu, Justin M. Notestein, Eric Weitz, Kimberly A. Gray, “Photo-Initiated Reduction of CO2 by H2 on Silica Surface”, ChemSusChem, (2018)
  • Sol Ahn, Scott L. Nauert, Cassandra T. Buru, Martino Rimoldi, Hyeju Choi, Neil M Schweitzer, Joseph T Hupp, Omar k Farha, Justin M Notestein, “Pushing the Limits on Metal-Organic Frameworks as a Catalyst Support”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, (2018)
  • Nicholas E. Thornburg, Justin M Notestein, “Rate and Selectivity Control in Thioether and Alkene Oxidation with H2O2 over Phosphonate-Modified Niobium(V)?Silica Catalysts”, ChemCatChem, (2017)
  • Lauren R. McCullough, David J. Childers, Rachel A. Watson, Beata A. Kilos, David G. Barton, Eric Weitz, Harold H. Kung, Justin M. Notestein, “Acceptorless Dehydrogenative Coupling of Neat Alcohols Using Group VI Sulfide Catalysts”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, (2017)
  • K. C. Schwartzenberg, J. W J Hamilton, A. K. Lucid, E. Weitz, J. Notestein, M. Nolan, J. A. Byrne, K. A. Gray, “Multifunctional photo/thermal catalysts for the reduction of carbon dioxide”, Catalysis Today, (2017)
  • M. Alexander Ardagh, Zhenyu Bo, Scott L. Nauert, Justin M. Notestein, “Depositing SiO2 on Al2O3”, ACS Catalysis, (2016)
  • Nicholas E. Thornburg, Scott L. Nauert, Anthony B. Thompson, Justin M. Notestein, “Synthesis-Structure-Function Relationships of Silica-Supported Niobium(V) Catalysts for Alkene Epoxidation with H2O2 ”, ACS Catalysis, (2016)
  • Nicols A. Grosso-Giordano, Todd R. Eaton, Zhenyu Bo, Sara Yacob, Chieh Chao Yang, Justin M. Notestein, “Silica support modifications to enhance Pd-catalyzed deoxygenation of stearic acid”, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, (2016)
  • Nicholas E. Thornburg, Yangyang Liu, Peng Li, Joseph T. Hupp, Omar K. Farha, Justin M. Notestein, “MOFs and their grafted analogues”, Catalysis Science and Technology, (2016)
  • Sol Ahn, Nicholas E. Thornburg, Zhanyong Li, Timothy C. Wang, Leighanne C. Gallington, Karena W. Chapman, Justin M. Notestein, Joseph T. Hupp, Omar K. Farha, “Stable metal-organic framework-supported niobium catalysts”, Inorganic Chemistry, (2016)
  • Scott L. Nauert, Fabian Schax, Christian Limberg, Justin M. Notestein, “Cyclohexane oxidative dehydrogenation over copper oxide catalysts”, Journal of Catalysis, (2016)
  • Mark Bachrach, Tobin J. Marks, Justin M. Notestein, “Understanding the Hydrodenitrogenation of Heteroaromatics on a Molecular Level”, ACS Catalysis, (2016)
  • Patricia Anne A Ignacio-De Leon, Christian A. Contreras, Nicholas E. Thornburg, Anthony B. Thompson, Justin M. Notestein, “Catalyst structure and substituent effects on epoxidation of styrenics with immobilized Mn(tmtacn) complexes”, Applied Catalysis A: General, (2016)
  • Sara Yacob, Beata A. Kilos, David G. Barton, Justin M. Notestein, “Vapor phase ethanol carbonylation over Rh supported on zeolite 13X”, Applied Catalysis A: General, (2016)
  • Charles A. Roberts, Louisa Savereide, David J. Childers, Torin C. Peck, Justin M. Notestein, “In situ FTIR spectroscopy of highly dispersed FeOx catalysts for NO reduction”, Catalysis Today, (2016)
  • Chieh Chao Yang, Sara Yacob, Beata A. Kilos, David G. Barton, Eric Weitz, Justin M. Notestein, “Increased productivity in ethylene carbonylation by zeolite-supported molybdenum carbonyls”, Journal of Catalysis, (2016)
  • Christian A. Contreras, Patricia Anne A Ignacio-De Leon, Justin M. Notestein, “Synthesis of a family of peracid-silica materials and their use as alkene epoxidation reagents”, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, (2016)