Alan Goldman 2022 Article Pic

Distinguished Professor of chemistry and chemical biology
School of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers-New Brunswick 

Honored for his distinguished contributions to the field of catalysis by transition-metal complexes, particularly the elucidation of reaction mechanisms and the development of catalysts for hydrocarbon functionalization. 

Alan Goldman’s research group is one of the leading laboratories in the world developing new catalysts that could advance the growth of green energy solutions, while explaining the underlying chemical principles.  

His laboratory – focused on where challenges faced by society overlap with fundamental scientific questions – has made major contributions to the field of catalytic conversion of hydrocarbons, including the development of catalysts to produce fuels that will result in reduced emissions of pollutants.  

The combustion of conventional liquid fuels such as petroleum-based diesel is a major contributor to air pollution, which causes millions of premature deaths and widespread health problems each year.  

Catalysts developed in the Goldman lab could also be applied toward converting carbon dioxide (CO2) and renewable energy into liquid fuels. Goldman said the development of systems to produce clean-combusting fuels from CO2 would be a win-win situation, mitigating both toxic air pollution and global-warming emissions.  

Goldman’s group is also researching ways to make the production of fertilizer for agriculture greener and a less energy-demanding process. They are developing catalysts that would allow the conversion of nitrogen for fertilizer by only using sustainable electricity instead of consuming large quantities of fossil fuel accompanied by carbon dioxide emissions. 

“We and many others are trying to develop a new generation of catalysts,” said Goldman, who credits the scientists who have worked as doctoral students and postdocs in his lab and are now using the skills they developed at Rutgers throughout the world. “But we are just as interested in elucidating an understanding of how current catalysts operate; such understanding might allow us – or anyone else – to achieve the needed breakthroughs.” 

– Robin Lally 


Read full article here highlighting all 12 professors from Rutgers who were named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.