Eranda Nikolla

Post-doctoral Fellow

Office: Spalding Lab 31
Phone: (626) 395-4672
Email: erandan at cheme dot caltech dot edu


B.S. in Engineering Chemistry, Oakland University, 2003
M.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2004
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008

Research Overview:

Growing environmental concerns and dwindling fossil fuel resources have increased the need for a shift toward renewable, carbon neutral resources. Biomass has been identified as a promising renewable resource. This research project focuses on the catalytic conversion of biomass-based carbohydrates (i.e. fructose and glucose) to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). HMF is an important substance that links the chemistry of carbohydrates with that of transportation fuels and chemicals. This process is very important toward establishing generalized, biomass-based platforms for the carbon neutral production of fuels and chemicals. Our objective is to design environmentally friendly and robust heterogeneous catalysts that enable the conversion of carbohydrates to HMF with optimal efficiency.


Nikolla E., Schwank J., Linic S., “Direct Electrochemical Oxidation of Hydrocarbon Fuels on SOFCs: Improved Carbon Tolerance of Ni Alloy Anodes ”, J. Electrochem. Soc., 156, B1312, 2009.

Nikolla E., Schwank J., Linic S., “Comparative study of the kinetics of methane steam reforming on supported Ni and Sn/Ni alloy catalysts: The impact of the formation of Ni alloy on chemistry”, J. Catal., 263 (2), 220-227, 2009.

Nikolla E., Schwank J., Linic S., “Measuring and relating the electronic structure of nonmodel supported catalytic materials to their performance”, J. Amer. Chem. Soc, 31 (7), 2747-2754, 2009.

Hongliang Xin, Neil Schweitzer, Eranda Nikolla, Suljo Linic, “Developing Relationships between the Local Chemical Reactivity of Alloy Catalysts and Physical Characteristics of Constituent Metal Elements, PRL, submitted

Neil Schweitzer, Hongliang Xin, Eranda Nikolla, Suljo Linic “Establishing relationships between the geometric structure and chemical reactivity of alloy catalysts based on their measured electronic structure”, Topics in Catalysis, in press 2009

Nikolla E., Holewinski A., Schwank J., Linic S., “Hydrocarbon Steam Reforming on Ni Alloys at Solid Oxide Fuel Cell conditions”, Catal. Today, 136 (3-4), 243-248, 2008.

Nikolla E., Schwank J., Linic S., “Promotion of the long-term stability of reforming catalysts by surface alloying”, J. Catal., 250 (1), 85-93, 2007.

Nikolla E., Holewinski A., Schwank J., Linic S., “Controlling Carbon Chemistry by Alloying: Carbon Tolerant Reforming Catalyst”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 128 (35), 11354-11355, 2006.