University of Toronto, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry

C. A. Mims


B.S. (Texas), Ph.D. (Berkeley)

Room: WB113
Tel.: 416-978-4575


American Chemical Society
American Institute of Chemical Engineering
North American Catalysis Society
Chemical Institute of Canada
Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering
Materials Research Society
American Vacuum Society 

Research Interests 

Catalysis and Heterogeneous Reactions
The mechanisms of heterogeneous and electrocatalytic reactions (which contain information about catalytic site requirements) and the synthesis of new catalytic materials and environments (which can improve catalytic performance) form the two related halves of our research effort. Our major focus is oxidation reactions (such as methane selective oxidation, solid oxide fuel cell processes, and propylene epoxidation) which have large potential application, but are hampered by reaction fundamentals and current catalyst performance. Mechanism studies: Detailed kinetic information is obtained at realistic operating conditions by isotopic tracer techniques. Simpler mechanistic steps and the surface structure of known catalysts are studied by surface science techniques.

Solid oxide materials with introduced defects: Substitution of "defect" cations into oxide crystal structures offers a vast array of "tunable" oxide materials for study. Both bulk materials and thin films made by new techniques (including ultrasonic spray pyrolysis) are used. Certain materials are studied for selective oxidation catalysis while others are being examined for electrode materials in solid oxide fuel cells. Solid state properties such as ion and electronic conductivity are necessary for this application and can also be varied by the composition.

Nanoscale catalysts: Clusters containing several (loosely defined as 2-20) atoms have unusual and poorly understood properties. Large variations in reactivity with the number of atoms in metal clusters have been observed. These effects and the ability to synthesize uniform samples of various size clusters and electrochemical deposition (in collaboration with Prof. Moskovits, Chemistry Department, University of Toronto) offers a unique opportunity to "design" and study catalytic sites.

Catalysts in micellular environments: Localized environments for soluble catalysts which differs from the bulk solution can be provided by micelle formation. We have recently shown large changes in reaction rates and selectivity in such environments and propose a broader investigation of this new area.

A current minor interest is the surface chemistry of polymer adhesion.

Selected Publications

Williams, S., Puri, M., Jacobson, A.J., and Mims, C.A., "Propene Oxidation on Substitutes 2:1 Bismuth Molybdates and Vanadates, accepted for publication in Catalysis Today (1996).

Mims, CA., Jacobson, A.J., Hall, R.B., and Lewandowski, J.T., Jr., "Methane Oxidative Coupling over Nonstoichiometric Bismuth - Tin Pyrochlore Catalysts", Journal of Catalysis, 153, pp. 197-207, 1995.

Mims, C.A. and Mauti, R.S., "Radical Chemistry in Methane Oxidative Coupling: Tracing of Ethylene Secondary Reactions with Computer Models and Isotopes", American Chemical Society, J. Phys. Chem., Vol. 98, No. 50, pp. 13357-13358, 1994.
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