Paul Lummis

Assistant Professor
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Chemistry and Biochemistry

319 Mellon Hall
Phone: 412.396.1626


M.Chem, University of Leeds, UK
Ph.D., University of Alberta, Canada
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Davis, Queen's University, Canada

Abundant element complexes for catalysis and materials applications

With an ever-growing population and corresponding increase in demand for energy and natural resources, there is an immediate need for sustainable industrial processes that generate less waste, and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Catalysis in industry accounts for a significant percentage of the annual US GDP, but relies heavily on the noble metals. Due to the expense and relative shortage of these elements, there is a growing effort to identify novel catalysts that rely on earth-abundant elements, such as those from the s- and p-blocks of the periodic table. As such, the primary goal of the Lummis research group will be to investigate the fundamental aspects of the reactions of main-group compounds, clusters and abundant metal hydrides, with small molecules such as nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, ammonia, ethylene, CO and alkenes that are either consumed or produced by energy production processes. We will aim to target inexpensive and non-toxic elements such as Al, Si, Ti, Zr, Fe, Ca and Mg for these transformations.

Projects include:

Development of redox-active main group catalysts and heterobielemental species of the s- and p- block

Lewis Base adducts of binary metal hydrides and metal hydride cations

Dinitrogen activation and functionalization at early transition metal centers