Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry
photo of Colin P. Horwitz

Colin P. Horwitz

Chief Technology Officer, GreenOx Catalysts; Adjunct Research Professor

Carnegie Mellon University

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Phone: (412) 268-8439

Fax: (412) 268-1061

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Faculty & Research

Colin P. Horwitz

Chief Technology Officer, GreenOx Catalysts; Adjunct Research Professor

Research Areas

Green chemistry, catalysis, coordination chemistry, environmental chemistry, oxidation

Understanding Green Oxidation Catalysts

The common theme in our research is the use of the Fe-TAML activators of hydrogen peroxide to address environmentally significant problems. The combination of the Fe-TAML activator and hydrogen peroxide makes for a powerful oxidizing system. We study the properties of the catalysts and their reactions from both fundamental and practical points of view. One of our goals is to understand in intimate detail the chemistry that occurs during oxidation of a given substrate. A wide array of analytical methods is used to follow the reactions and to analyze the oxidation products so that reaction pathways can be proposed. We also probe toxicity issues associated with the treatment since all of our studies are aligned with the principles of green chemistry.

Applying Green Oxidation Catalysts

Since the environmental issues that we examine are real-world challenges we look to try to apply them industrially. We have, for example, used the catalysts and hydrogen peroxide in full-scale field trials to remove the colored effluents formed during wood pulp bleaching and also in textile dyeing mills to clean up dyes that do not stick to the fabrics and would end up on our waterways. As the application areas for the Fe-TAML activators continue to expand, opportunities for their use in industrial applications continue to open up for investigation.

Education and Appointments
2003–present Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
1995–2003 Associate Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
1994–1995 Research Chemist, Carnegie Mellon
1993–1994 Associate Professor of Chemistry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1986 Ph.D., Northwestern University
Awards and Distinctions
1999 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award
Selected Publications

Mondal, S.; Hangun-Balkir, Y.; Alexandrova, L.; Link, D.; Howard, B.; Zandhuis, P.; Cugini, A.; Horwitz, C. P.; Collins T. J. “Oxidation of sulfur components in diesel fuel using Fe-TAML® catalysts and hydrogen peroxide” 2006, Catalysis Today, 116, 554-561.

Horwitz, C. P.; Collins, T. J.; Spatz, J.; Smith, H. J.; Wright, L. J.; Stuthridge, T. R.; Wingate, K. G.; McGrouther, K.  “Iron-TAML catalysts in the pulp and paper industry.” ACS Symposium Series: Feedstocks for the Future 2006, 921,156-169. 

Ghosh, A.; Tiago de Oliveira, F.; Yano, T.; Nishioka, T.; Beach, E. S.; Kinoshita, I.; Muenck, E.; Ryabov, A. D.; Horwitz, C. P.; Collins, T. J., “Catalytically Active µ-Oxodiiron(IV) Oxidants from Iron(III) and Dioxygen” 2005 Journal of the American Chemical Society 127, 2505-2513.

Wingate, K. G.; Stuthridge, T. R.; Wright, L. J.; Horwitz, C. P.; Collins, T. J., “Application of TAML Catalysts to Remove Colour from Pulp and Paper Mill Effluents” 2004 Water Science and Technology 49, 255-260.