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Nick Brunelli

  • 151 W Woodruff Ave
    Columbus, OH 43210-1226
  • 614-688-3400



Postdoc at Emory with Huw M. L. Davies (2013)

Postdoc at Georgia Tech with Chris W. Jones (2010-2013)

Ph.D. at Caltech with Konstantinos P. Giapis and co-advised by Richard C. Flagan (2004-2010)

B.S. at The Ohio State University (2004)

Key Honors and Distinctions:

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2004-2007)

Outstanding Senior Chemical Engineering Alumni Award (2004)

Dow Outstanding Junior Award in Chemical Engineering (2003)

Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Award in Chemical Engineering (2002)

National Merit Finalist (2000)

Research Areas

Heterogeneous and Immobilized Catalysis and Catalytic Materials; Sustainability, Energy, Environment 

Our research program focuses on the design, synthesis, spectroscopic interrogation, and reaction testing of novel catalytic materials. We bring a broad background of organic and inorganic synthesis techniques to investigate fundamental aspects of catalytic materials with the goal of increasing catalytic selectivity and activity. A major focus of our work is creating uniform catalytic sites. For heterogeneous catalytic materials, typical synthetic methods produce a distribution of catalytic sites, making identification of the highly active and selective species difficult. Homogeneous catalysis overcomes this through making well-defined small molecule catalysts through organic synthesis techniques. Our approach utilizes organic synthesis techniques to generate the highly organized catalytic active sites. Through spectroscopie interrogation and catalytic testing, we seek to identify highly selective and active structures. Iterative design, synthesis and testing enables our work to advance fundamental understanding of catalytic material design. 


  • May, 2019

    Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigator (2019).

  • March, 2019

    2019 Lumley Research Award.

  • January, 2019

    Robert Augustine Award.

  • September, 2018

    2018 Influential Researcher.

  • June, 2004-
    June, 2007

    National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

  • September, 2000-
    June, 2004

    National Merit Finalist.

  • May, 2003

    Dow Outstanding Junior Award in Chemical Engineering.

  • NSF CAREER Award.

Journal Articles


  • Ranadive, P.; Blanchette, Z.; Spanos, A.; Medlin, J.W. et al., 2021, "Scalable synthesis of selective hydrodeoxygenation inverted Pd@TiO2 nanocatalysts." Journal of Flow Chemistry


  • Whitaker, M.R.; Parulkar, A.; Ranadive, P.; Joshi, R. et al., 2019, "Examining Acid Formation During the Selective Dehydration of Fructose to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural in Dimethyl Sulfoxide and Water.." ChemSusChem 12, no. 10, 2211-2219 - 2211-2219.
  • Olson, N.; Deshpande, N.; Gunduz, S.; Ozkan, U.S. et al., 2019, "Utilizing imogolite nanotubes as a tunable catalytic material for the selective isomerization of glucose to fructose." Catalysis Today 323, 69-75 - 69-75.
  • Deshpande, N.; Parulkar, A.; Joshi, R.; Diep, B. et al., 2019, "Epoxide ring opening with alcohols using heterogeneous Lewis acid catalysts: Regioselectivity and mechanism." Journal of Catalysis 370, 46-54 - 46-54.
  • Biddinger, E.J.; Brunelli, N.A., 2019, "Preface to the special issue honoring Umit S. Ozkan: 2017 ACS Henry H. Storch award winner." Catalysis Today 323, 1-2 - 1-2.


  • Parulkar, A.; Joshi, R.; Deshpande, N.; Brunelli, N.A., 2018, "Synthesis and catalytic testing of Lewis acidic nano-MFI zeolites for the epoxide ring opening reaction with alcohol." Applied Catalysis A: General 566, 25-32 - 25-32.
  • Parulkar, A.; Thompson, J.A.; Hurt, M.; Zhan, B.Z. et al., 2018, "Improving Hydrodenitrogenation Catalyst Performance through Analyzing Hydrotreated Vacuum Gas Oil Using Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 57, no. 27, 8845-8854 - 8845-8854.


  • Deshpande, N.; Pattanaik, L.; Whitaker, M.R.; Yang, C.T. et al., 2017, "Selectively converting glucose to fructose using immobilized tertiary amines." Journal of Catalysis 353, 205-210 - 205-210.
  • Parulkar, A.; Brunelli, N.A., 2017, "High-Yield Synthesis of ZIF-8 Nanoparticles Using Stoichiometric Reactants in a Jet-Mixing Reactor." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 56, no. 37, 10384-10392 - 10384-10392.


  • Moschetta,Eric,G; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Jones,Christopher,W, 2015, "Reaction-dependent heteroatom modification of acid-base catalytic cooperativity in aminosilica materials." APPLIED CATALYSIS A-GENERAL 504, 429-439 - 429-439.
  • Moschetta,Eric,G; Negretti,Solymar; Chepiga,Kathryn,M; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Labreche,Ying; Feng,Yan; Rezaei,Fateme; Lively,Ryan,P; Koros,William,J; Davies,Huw,ML; Jones,Christopher,W, 2015, "Composite Polymer/Oxide Hollow Fiber Contactors: Versatile and Scalable Flow Reactors for Heterogeneous Catalytic Reactions in Organic Synthesis." ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION 54, no. 22, 6470-6474 - 6470-6474.
  • Espinal,Laura; Green,Martin,L; Fischer,Daniel,A; Delongchamp,Dean,M; Jaye,Cherno; Horn,Jarod,C; Sakwa-Novak,Miles,A; Chaikittisilp,Watcharop; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Jones,Christopher,W, 2015, "Interrogating the Carbon and Oxygen K-Edge NEXAFS of a CO2-Dosed Hyperbranched Aminosilica." JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS 6, no. 1, 148-152 - 148-152.


  • Kim,Hyung-Ju; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Brown,Andrew,J; Jang,Kwang-Suk; Kim,Wun-gwi; Rashidi,Fereshteh; Johnson,Justin,R; Koros,William,J; Jones,Christopher,W; Nair,Sankar, 2014, "Silylated Mesoporous Silica Membranes on Polymeric Hollow Fiber Supports: Synthesis and Permeation Properties." ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES 6, no. 20, 17877-17886 - 17877-17886.
  • Brown,Andrew,J; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Eum,Kiwon; Rashidi,Fereshteh; Johnson,J,R; Koros,William,J; Jones,Christopher,W; Nair,Sankar, 2014, "Separation membranes. Interfacial microfluidic processing of metal-organic framework hollow fiber membranes.." Science 345, no. 6192, 72-75 - 72-75.
  • Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Moschetta,Eric; Jones,Christopher,W, 2014, "Designing acid-base cooperative catalytic interaction in aminosilica materials." ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 247, 1 - 1.
  • Didas,Stephanie,A; Zhu,Rongshun; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Sholl,David,S; Jones,Christopher,W, 2014, "Thermal, Oxidative and CO2 Induced Degradation of Primary Amines Used for CO2 Capture: Effect of Alkyl Linker on Stability." JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C 118, no. 23, 12302-12311 - 12302-12311.
  • Thompson,Joshua,A; Vaughn,Justin,T; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Koros,William,J; Jones,Christopher,W; Nair,Sankar, 2014, "Mixed-linker zeolitic imidazolate framework mixed-matrix membranes for aggressive CO2 separation from natural gas." MICROPOROUS AND MESOPOROUS MATERIALS 192, 43-51 - 43-51.
  • Pimentel,Brian,R; Parulkar,Aamena; Zhou,Er-Kang; Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Lively,Ryan,P, 2014, Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks: Next-Generation Materials for Energy-Efficient Gas Separations. ChemSusChem 7, no. 12, 3202-3240 - 3202-3240.
  • Kang, D.; Brunelli, N.; NicholasYucelen, G.I.; Venkatasubramanian, A. et al., 2014, "Direct synthesis of single-walled aminoaluminosilicate nanotubes with enhanced molecular adsorption selectivity." NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 5,


  • Long, W.; Brunelli, N.A.; Didas, S.A.; Ping, E.W. et al., 2013, "Aminopolymer-Silica Composite-Supported Pd Catalysts for Selective Hydrogenation of Alkynes." ACS CATALYSIS 3, no. 8,
  • Holunga, D.M.; Brunelli, N.A.; Flagan, R.C., 2013, "A tool for uniform coating of 300-mm wafers with nanoparticles." JOURNAL OF NANOPARTICLE RESEARCH 15, no. 11, 2027-1-2027-10 - 2027-1-2027-10.
  • Varga, A.; Pfohl, M.; Brunelli, N.A.; Schreier, M. et al., 2013, "Carbon nanotubes as electronic interconnects in solid acid fuel cell electrodes." PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS 15, no. 37,
  • Brunelli, N.A.; Neidholdt, E.L.; Giapis, K.P.; Flagan, R.C. et al., 2013, "Continuous Flow Ion Mobility Separation with Mass Spectrometric Detection Using a Nano-Radial Differential Mobility Analyzer at Low Flow Rates." ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 85, no. 9,
  • Brunelli, N.A.; Jones, C.W., 2013, "Tuning acid-base cooperativity to create next generation silica-supported organocatalysts." JOURNAL OF CATALYSIS 308,
  • Chepiga, K.M.; Feng, Y.; Brunelli, N.A.; Jones, C.W. et al., 2013, "Silica-Immobilized Chiral Dirhodium(II) Catalyst for Enantioselective Carbenoid Reactions." ORGANIC LETTERS 15, no. 24,
  • Thompson, J.A.; Brunelli, N.A.; Lively, R.P.; Johnson, J.R. et al., 2013, "Tunable CO2 Adsorbents by Mixed-Linker Synthesis and Postsynthetic Modification of Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks." JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C 117, no. 16,


  • Bollini, P.; Brunelli, N.A.; Didas, S.A.; Jones, C.W., 2012, "Dynamics of CO2 Adsorption on Amine Adsorbents. 2. Insights Into Adsorbent Design." INDUSTRIAL & ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY RESEARCH 51, no. 46,
  • Thompson, J.A.; Blad, C.R.; Brunelli, N.A.; Lydon, M.E. et al., 2012, "Hybrid Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks: Controlling Framework Porosity and Functionality by Mixed-Linker Synthesis." CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS 24, no. 10,
  • Kuwahara, Y.; Kang, D.; Copeland, J.R.; Brunelli, N.A. et al., 2012, "Dramatic Enhancement of CO2 Uptake by Poly(ethyleneimine) Using Zirconosilicate Supports." JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 134, no. 26,
  • Brunelli, N.A.; Venkatasubbaiah, K.; Jones, C.W., 2012, "Cooperative Catalysis with Acid-Base Bifunctional Mesoporous Silica: Impact of Grafting and Co-condensation Synthesis Methods on Material Structure and Catalytic Properties." CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS 24, no. 13,
  • Brunelli, N.A.; Long, W.; Venkatasubbaiah, K.; Jones, C.W., 2012, "Catalytic Regioselective Epoxide Ring Opening with Phenol Using Homogeneous and Supported Analogues of Dimethylaminopyridine." TOPICS IN CATALYSIS 55, no. 7-10,
  • Brunelli, N.A.; Didas, S.A.; Venkatasubbaiah, K.; Jones, C.W., 2012, "Tuning Cooperativity by Controlling the Linker Length of Silica-Supported Amines in Catalysis and CO2 Capture." JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 134, no. 34,
  • Bollini, P.; Brunelli, N.A.; Didas, S.A.; Jones, C.W., 2012, "Dynamics of CO2 Adsorption on Amine Adsorbents. 1. Impact of Heat Effects." INDUSTRIAL & ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY RESEARCH 51, no. 46,


  • Jiang, J.; Attoui, M.; Heim, M.; Brunelli, N.A. et al., 2011, "Transfer Functions and Penetrations of Five Differential Mobility Analyzers for Sub-2 nm Particle Classification." AEROSOL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 45, no. 4,


  • Varga, A.; Brunelli, N.A.; Louie, M.W.; Giapis, K.P. et al., 2010, "Composite nanostructured solid-acid fuel-cell electrodes via electrospray deposition." JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY 20, no. 30,


  • Brunelli, N.A.; Flagan, R.C.; Giapis, K.P., 2009, "Radial Differential Mobility Analyzer for One Nanometer Particle Classification." AEROSOL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 43, no. 1,


  • "Use of Dual Atmospheric Microdischarges for Manipulating the Growth of Silicon Nanoparticles." 2006, Presented at AVS 53rd International Symposium and Exhibit,

Papers in Proceedings


  • Brunelli, N.; Deshpande, N.; Whitaker, M.; Parulkar, A. "Tuning catalytic material design of zeolites and mesoporous materials to increase catalytic selectivity." (8 2018).
  • Brunelli, N.; Deshpande, N.; Parulkar, A.; Joshi, R. et al. "Regioselectivity of epoxide ring opening with alcohols using heterogeneous Lewis acid catalysts." (8 2018).
  • Brunelli, N.; Deshpande, N.; Yang, C-T.; Cho, E.H. et al. "Increasing conversion selectivity for biomass relevant reactions through molecularly tuning catalyst design." (8 2018).
  • Brunelli, N.; Deshpande, N.; Kobayashi, T.; Yang, C-T. et al. "Tuning the molecular design of tertiary amine catalysts on amorphous mesoporous silica supports for glucose isomerization." (8 2018).


  • Brunelli, N.; Whitaker, M.; Joshi, R.; Parulkar, A. "Molecular design of cooperative interactions for amorphous silica materials to tune catalytic selectivities." (4 2017).
  • Brunelli, N.; Deshpande, N.; Whitaker, M.; Parulkar, A. et al. "Tuning the molecular design of catalytic materials to increase activity and selectivity for mesoporous silica materials." (8 2017).


  • Brunelli, N.; Deshpande, N.; Pattanaik, L.; Sherman, K. et al. "Molecular design of cooperative interactions for heterogeneous catalytic materials to tune catalytic rates and selectivities." (3 2016).
  • Brunelli, N.; Whitaker, M.; Deshpande, N.; Parulkar, A. "Molecular design of cooperative interactions for heterogeneous catalytic materials to tune catalytic rates and selectivities." (8 2016).


  • Brunelli,Nicholas,A; Chepiga,Kathryn,M; Fang,Yan; Davies,Huw,ML; Jones,Christopher,W "Designing immobilized dirhodium carbenoid catalysts for high activity and enantioselectivity." (3 2014).
  • Gill, C.S.; Chepiga, K.; Feng, Y.; Brunelli, N.A. et al. "Polymer and silica supported Ru and Rh carbene catalysts for asymmetric olefin cyclopropanation and C-H activation." (8 2014).
  • Moschetta, E.G.; Brunelli, N.A.; Collier, V.E.; Lindy, G.I. et al. "The effects of alkyl linker length and pore size on the bifunctional catalytic activity of amine-functionalized silica materials for C-C bond formation." (1 2014).


  • Long, W.; Brunelli, N.A.; Ping, E.W.; Didas, S.A. et al. "Pd-aminopolymer-silica hybrid catalysts for selective hydrogenation of alkynes to olefins." (4 2013).


  • Jones, C.W.; Brunelli, N.A. "Acid-base bifunctional mesoporous silica in the aldol condensation reaction." (3 2012).