2018-present H.C. "Slip" Slider Professorship
2020-present Associate Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University
2018-2020 Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University
  The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
July 2013 - November 2013 Postdoctoral Scholar
  Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  Advisor: Huw M. L. Davies
2010 - June 2013 Postdoctoral Scholar
  Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
  Advisor: Chris Jones
2004 – 2010 Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Minor in Applied Physics
  California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow
2000 – 2004 B.S. Chemical Engineering
  The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 
  National Merit Scholar


Our group has expertise in the synthesis, characterization, and testing of heterogeneous catalytic materials. We seek to investigate structure-function relationships to elucidate mechanistic insights into catalytic reactions. This is challenging since most heterogeneous catalysts contain a non-uniform distribution of catalytic sites. We use homogeneous synthesis techniques to create materials with more uniform catalytic sites. Through tuning these materials on the atomic level, we are able to produce more uniform catalytic sites. The uniformity of the catalytic sites enables more active and selective catalysts to be designed and realized. The work has the potential to transform the production of valuable chemicals derived from petroleum and biomass sources.

Recent Publications:


39. M. Gray, M. Hines, M. Parsutkar, A.J. Wahlstrom, N.A. Brunelli,* T.V. RajanBabu,* “On the Mechanism of Cobalt-Catalyzed Heterodimerization of Acrylates and 1,3-Dienes. Reaction Progress Kinetic Analysis and A Potential Role of Cationic Cobalt(I) Intermediates” (accepted).

38. M.R. Whitaker, A. Parulkar, N.A. Brunelli,* “Selective production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural from fructose in the presence of an acid-functionalized SBA-15 catalyst modified with a sulfoxide polymer,” Molecular Systems Design and Engineering2020, 5, 257-268.


37. A. Kane, N. Deshpande, N.A. Brunelli,* “Impact of surface loading on catalytic activity of regular and low Micropore SBA-15 in the Knoevenagel Condensation,” AIChE Journal, 2019, 65 (12), e16791.

36. A. Parulkar, A.P. Spanos, N. Deshpande, N.A. Brunelli,* “Synthesis and catalytic testing of Lewisacidic nano zeolite Beta for epoxide ring opening with alcohols,” Applied Catalysis A: General, 2019, 577, 28-34.

35. N. Deshpande, E.H. Cho, A.P. Spanos, L.-C. Lin, N.A. Brunelli,* “Tuning Molecular Structure of TertiaryAmine Catalysts for Glucose Isomerization,” Journal of Catalysis, 2019, 372, 119-127.

34. P. Ranadive, A. Parulkar, N.A. Brunelli,* “Jet-Mixing Reactor for the Production of MonodisperseSilver Nanoparticles Using a Reduced Amount of Capping Agent,” Reaction Chemistry and Engineering, 2019, 4 (10), 1779-1789.

33. M.R. Whitaker, A. Parulkar, P. Ranadive, R. Joshi, N.A. Brunelli,* “Examining Acid Formation During theSelective Dehydration of Fructose to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural in DMSO and Water,” ChemSusChem, 2019, 12 (10), 2211-2219.

32. N. Olson, N. Deshpande, S. Gunduz, U.S. Ozkan, N.A. Brunelli,* “Utilizing Imogolite Nanotubes as aTunable Catalytic Material for the Selective Isomerization of Glucose to Fructose,” Catalysis Today, 2019, 323, 69-75.

31. N. Deshpande, A. Parulkar, R. Joshi, B. Diep, A. Kulkarni, N.A. Brunelli,* “Epoxide ring opening with alcohols using heterogeneous Lewis acid catalysts: Mechanism and Regioselectivity,” Journal of Catalysis,2019, 370, 46-54.


30. A. Parulkar, R. Joshi, N. Deshpande, N.A. Brunelli,* “Synthesis and Catalytic Testing of Lewis AcidicNano-MFI Zeolites for the Epoxide Ring Opening Reaction with Alcohol,” Applied Catalysis A: General,2018, 566, 25-32.

29. A. Parulkar, J.A. Thompson, M. Hurt, B.-Z. Zhan, N.A. Brunelli,* “Improving HydrodenitrogenationCatalyst Performance through Analyzing Hydrotreated Vacuum Gas Oil Using Ion Mobility-MassSpectrometry,” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 2018, 57 (27), 8845-8854.


28. A. Parulkar, N.A. Brunelli,* “High-Yield Synthesis of ZIF-8 Nanoparticles Using StoichiometricReactants in a Jet-Mixing Reactor,” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 2017, 56 (37),10384-10392.

27. N. Deshpande, L. Pattanaik, M.R. Whitaker, C.-T. Yang, L.-C. Lin, N.A. Brunelli,“Selectively Converting Glucoseto Fructose Using Immobilized Tertiary Amines.” Journal of Catalysis 2017, 353, 205-210.


2020 Emerging Investigator, RSC Molecular Systems Design and Engineering
2019 Robert Augustine Award, Organic Reactions Catalysis Society
  AIChE FuturesAIChE Journal
  Emerging Investigator, RSC Reaction Chemistry and Engineering
  Lumley Research Award, The Ohio State University, College of Engineering
2018 Class of Influential Researchers, ACS Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
2017 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  Most Invention Disclosures Filed, Ohio State University Institute for Materials Research (OSU IMR)Materials Week Award for Invention Disclosures
2004 Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation (NSF GRFP)
2003 Outstanding Senior Chemical Engineering Alumni Award, The Ohio State University Department of Chemical Engineering
2002 Dow Outstanding Junior Award in Chemical Engineering, The Ohio State University Department of Chemical Engineering
2001 AIChE Donald F. Otthmer Outstanding Sophomore Award, The Ohio State University Department of Chemical Engineering
2000 National Merit Scholar, The Ohio State University