University of Toronto, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry

Charles A. Mims

Charles MimsB.S. (Texas), Ph.D. (Berkeley)

Co-Director, Ontario Centre for Characterization of Advanced Materials (OCCAM)

Room: WB113 | Tel.: 416-978-4575 | Email:


American Chemical Society
Chemical Institute of Canada
Materials Research Society
American Vacuum Society 

Research Interests 

Catalysis and Heterogeneous Reactions

The mechanisms of heterogeneous and electro-catalytic reactions continue to be the focus of our research effort. The projects, which have been diverse, are united by the common fact that the one or more steps in the catalytic reaction mechanism is the major block to new or improved technology.  Current projects investigate the fundamental mechanisms of methanol reactions (synthesis and dehydration), gasification catalysis mobility and photo-catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide.   Previous energy-related processes have included methane selective oxidation, solid oxide fuel cell processes, and propylene epoxidation.   The methods of investigation includes the detailed kinetics studies of  the overall reaction mechanism combined with surface analytical investigation of the catalytic sites.  The kinetic studies include dynamic isotope tracing techniques.  Many of the research projects have also involved close collaborations with other research groups. In the photocatalytic CO2 conversion research, for example, the critical expertise in synthesis of novel nanoscale materials is provided by several other research groups.  Recent contributions are listed below.

Research opportunities in the application of new characterization techniques are also associated with the Ontario Centre for Characterization of Advanced Materials (OCCAM). This CFI-funded facility offers the most advanced techniques in surface science and electron microscopy. Collaborative projects which involve these characterization techniques include many areas of advanced material research - from biomaterials, genomics investigations to space materials.

Selected Publications


K2CO3-Catalyzed CO2 Gasification of Ash-Free Coal: Kinetic Study, Kopyscinski, Jan; Habibi, Rozita; Mims, Charles A.; Hill, Josephine M. Energy & Fuels (2013), 27(8), 4875-4883.

Mechanistic studies of methanol synthesis over Cu from CO/CO2/H2/H2O mixtures: The source of C in methanol and the role of water, Yang, Y.; Mims, C. A.; Mei, D. H.; Peden, C. H. F.; Campbell, C. T. Journal of Catalysis (2013), 298, 10-17.

The Role of Catalysts and Peroxide Oxidation in Lithium¬Oxygen Batteries Black, Robert; Lee, Jin-Hyon; Adams, Brian; Mims, Charles A.; Nazar, Linda F. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition (2013), 52(1), 392-396.

Application of time-of-flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToFSIMS) for the detection of enzyme activity on solid wood substrates, Goacher, Robyn E.; Edwards, Elizabeth A.; Yakunin, Alexander F.; Mims, Charles A.; Master, Emma R. Analytical Chemistry (Washington, DC, United States) (2012), 84(10), 4443-4451.

Efficient Photomethanation of Gaseous CO2 on Silicon Nanowire Catalyst Supports with Visible and Near-Infrared Photons: A Step Towards Broadband Solar Fuels Reactors, Paul G. O’Brien, Amit Sandhel, Thomas E. Wood, Abdinoor Jelle, Laura B. Hoch, Charles A. Mims and Geoffrey A. Ozin* (submitted for publication - 2014)).

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