Research Guides

Dr Tiancun Xiao

Senior Research Fellow
Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, 
Oxford University, South Parks Road
OX1 3QR.

Tel: +44-(0)1865-272660
Fax: +44-(0)1865-272690


Our research is driven by developing better chemical process and nano-materials (both chemical and bio materials) for industrial application and human beings. We have made use of chemical principles and techniques to understand and explore catalysts and process. We focus on the catalyst preparation and application in petrochemical chemical process.

A variety of techniques are used in our research, including synthetic chemistry, catalyst test and characterisation,  techniques including X-ray diffraction, solid state NMR, Laser Raman, BET surface area, FTIR and electron-microscope.

We have strong track record in developing industrial-oriented catalysts & process , and helped oil industries in trouble-shooting and solution-providing.

Current Position

Technical Director of KACST-Oxford Clean Energy Research Centre (KOPRC),  a joint Centre of Excellence, focus on more efficient petrochemical process and novel catalyst materials.

Founder of Oxford Catalysts Ltd which was floated in London Stock Market in 2006, and now in the name of Velocys,  

Senior Research Fellow, Chemistry Department, Oxford University

Recent Prizes

July 2013, The 1st Prize of UK-China Entrepreneurship Competition
March 2005: The Carbon/Telegraph Trust Innovation Award 

  • New catalysts for hydrogen production from catalytic water splitting under visible light.
  • Novel process and catalysts for biomass reforming at lower temperature to produce hydrogen.
  • We developed an unique catalytic process to extract hydrogen or generate super heated steam from methanol starting instantly from  room temperature.
  • Gas conditioning process and materials, like re-use of methanol catalyst for desulfurisation.
  • Our Fischer-Tropsch catalysts have been validated by several international companies, and is been used in industry.
  • Crude oil structure and property study using NMR and MS.
  • Oil refinery catalysts for hydrogenation, hydrocracking, and hydrogen generation.  
  • Coal upgrading and conversion.

September 1990 - August 1993  Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

D.Phil: Preparation, Characterisation and Catalytic Performance of Silico-Aluminophosphate Molecular Sieves and Their Supported Palladium Catalysts.

September 1987 - August 1990 Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Post-graduate: Study on the Deactivation Mechanism of Supported Noble Metal Catalyst by Sulfur Poisoning and Regeneration Methods

Awards: Won Chinese Academy President Award for development of regeneration method of the spent catalyst.

September 1983 - July 1987 Northwest University, China. B.A. Hons., in Chemistry.

2010-now Technical director of the KACST-Oxford Clean Energy Centre, Department of Chemistry, Oxford University, working on the technology for refinery of biomass and fossile fuel.

2006-2011 Chief Technology Officer, Oxford Catalysts Group Ltd, working mainly on the converting of biomass into clean renewable fuels such as diesel and gasoline.

July 2003-2007 Team Leader of the Wolfson Catalysis Centre, senior research fellow, Oxford University,

June 2000-June 2003Senior Research Fellow of the Wolfson Catalysis Centre, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford, U.K,. 

May 1999-May 2000 Royal Society BP-Amoco Fellow, working on heterogeneous catalysis and the application of carbides, borides and composite oxides.

December 1993 - November. 1995, and January. 1998- April 1999 Associate Professor, Vice Dean of the College of Environmental Engineering, Shandong University, China.

  1. Yang, Guidong; Yang, Bolun; Xiao, Tiancun; Yan, Zifeng; One-​step solvothermal synthesis of hierarchically porous nanostructured CdS​/TiO2 heterojunction with higher visible light photocatalytic activity; Applied Surface Science (2013), 283, 402-410
  2. Xu, Shisen; Ren, Yongqiang; Wang, Baomin; Xu, Yue; Chen, Liang; Wang, Xiaolong; Xiao, Tiancun, Development of a novel 2-​stage entrained flow coal dry powder gasifier, Applied Energy, in the press
  3. Liu, Bonan; Zong, Qiuyun; Edwards, Peter P.; Zou, Fei; Du, Xian; Jiang, Zheng; Xiao, Tiancun; AlMegren, Hamid ,  Effect of Titania Addition on the Performance of CoMo/Al2O3 Sour Water Gas Shift Catalysts under Lean Steam to Gas Ratio Conditions ,  Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2012), 51(36), 11674-11680.
  4.  Kong, Liang; Jiang, Zheng; Lai, Henry H.; Nicholls, Rebecca J.; Xiao, Tiancun; Jones, Martin O.; Edwards, Peter P, Unusual reactivity of visible-light-responsive AgBr-BiOBr heterojunction photocatalysts,  Journal of Catalysis (2012), 293, 116-125
  5. Zou, Fei; Jiang, Zheng; Qin, Xiaoqin; Zhao, Yongxiang; Jiang, Luyun; Zhi, Jinfang; Xiao, Tiancun; Edwards, Peter P.  Template-free synthesis of mesoporous N-doped SrTiO3 perovskite with high visible-light-driven photocatalytic activity . Chemical Communications (Cambridge, United Kingdom) (2012), 48(68), 8514-8516.
  6. Yang, Guidong; Yan, Zifeng; Xiao, Tiancun; Preparation and characterization of SnO2/ZnO/TiO2 composite semiconductor with enhanced photocatalytic activity , Applied Surface Science (2012), 258(22), 8704-8712.
  7.  Lu, Lufeng; Kong, Liang; Jiang, Zheng; Lai, Henry H.-C.; Xiao, Tiancun; Edward Peter P. Visible-Light-Driven Photodegradation of Rhodamine B on Ag-Modified BiOBr ,  Catalysis Letters (2012), 142(6), 771-778. 
  8. Kong, Liang; Jiang, Zheng; ;Xiao Tiancun, Lu, Lufeng; Jones, Martin O.; Edwards, Peter P, Exceptional visible-light-driven photocatalytic activity over BiOBr-ZnFe2O4 heterojunctions , Chemical Communications (Cambridge, United Kingdom) (2011), 47(19), 
  9. Yang, Xiaoyi; Xiao Tiancun; Edwards, Peter P.; The use of products from CO2 photoreduction for improvement of hydrogen evolution in water splitting , International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2011), 36(11), 6546-6552
  10. Yang, Guidong; Xiao Tiancun; Sloan, Jeremy; Li, Guoqiang; Yan, Zifeng , Low-Temperature Synthesis of Visible-Light Active Fluorine/Sulfur Co-doped Mesoporous TiO2 Microspheres ,  Chemistry--A European Journal (2011), 17(4), 1096-1100
  11. Al-Shahrani, Farhan;  Xiao Tiancun; Green, Malcolm L. H. ; Oxidative desulfurization offers route to ultralow-sulfur diesel , Oil & Gas Journal (2010), 108(18), 41-47.
  12. Yang, Guidong; Jiang, Zheng; Shi, Huahong; Xiao Tiancun; Yan, Zifeng, Preparation of highly visible-light active N-doped TiO2 photocatalyst, Journal of Materials Chemistry (2010), 20(25), 5301-5309
  13. Luo, Nianjun; Ouyang, Kun; Cao, Fahai; Xiao Tiancun Hydrogen generation from liquid reforming of glycerin over Ni-Co bimetallic catalyst ,  Biomass and Bioenergy (2010), 34(4), 489-495
  14. Yang, Guidong; Jiang, Zheng; Shi, Huahong; Jones, Martin O.; Xiao Tiancun; Edwards, Peter P.; Yan, Zifeng , Study on the photocatalysis of F-S co-doped TiO2 prepared using solvothermal method ,Applied Catalysis, B: Environmental (2010), 96(3-4), 458-465. 
  15.  Luo, Nianjun; Ouyang, Kun; Cao, Fahai; Xiao Tiancun,  Hydrogen generation from liquid reforming of glycerin over Ni-Co bimetallic catalyst ,  Biomass and Bioenergy (2010), 34(4), 489-495.
  16. Jiang, Zheng; Yu, Junjie; Cheng, Jie; Xiao Tiancun; Jones, Martin O.; Hao, Zhengping; Edwards, Peter P, Catalytic combustion of methane over mixed oxides derived from Co-Mg/Al ternary hydrotalcites ,. Fuel Processing Technology (2009), 91(1), 97-102.
  17. Xiao, Tiancun; Hanif, Ahmad; York, Andrew P. E.; Green, Malcolm L. H.   Methane partial oxidation to synthesis gas over bimetallic cobalt/tungsten carbide catalysts and integration with a Mn substituted hexaaluminate combustion catalyst.    Catalysis Today  (2009),  147(3-4),  196-202.
  18. Jiang, Zheng; Su, Jixin; Jones, Martin Owen; Shi, Huahong; Xiao, Tiancun*; Edwards, Peter,  Catalytic Partial Oxidation of Methane over Ni-Based Catalysts Derived from Ni-Mg/Al Ternary Hydrotalcites.   Energy & Fuels  (2009),  23(3),  1634-1639
  19. Luo, Nianjun; Jiang, Zheng; Shi, Huahong; Cao, Fahai; Xiao, Tiancun*; Edwards, Peter P., Photo-catalytic conversion of oxygenated hydrocarbons to hydrogen over heteroatom-doped TiO2 catalysts,  International Journal of Hydrogen Energy  (2009),  34(1),  125-129.    
  20. Haynes, Daniel J.; Berry, David A.; Shekhawat, Dushyant; Xiao, Tiancun*; Green, Malcolm L. H.; Spivey, James J.   Partial Oxidation of n-Tetradecane over 1 wt.% Pt/ -Al2O3 and Co0.4Mo0.6Cx Carbide Catalysts: A Comparative Study.    Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research  (2008),  47(20),  7663-7671
  21. Jiang, Zheng; Yang, Fan; Luo, Nianjun; Chu, Bryan T. T.; Sun, Deyin; Shi, Huahong; Xiao, Tiancun*; Edwards, Peter P.,    Solvothermal synthesis of N-doped TiO2 nanotubes for visible-light-responsive photocatalysis,   Chemical Communications (Cambridge, United Kingdom)  (2008),   (47),  6372-6374. 
  22. Yang, Xiaoyi; Salzmann, Christoph; Shi, Huahong; Wang, Hongzhi; Green, Malcolm L. H.; Xiao, Tiancun*.,    The Role of Photoinduced Defects in TiO2 and Its Effects on Hydrogen Evolution from Aqueous Methanol solution. Journal of Physical Chemistry A  (2008),  112(43),  10784-10789. 
  23. Luo, Nianjun; Fu, Xianwen; Cao, Fahai; Xiao, Tiancun*; Edwards, Peter P.,  Glycerol aqueous phase reforming for hydrogen generation over Pt catalyst - Effect of catalyst composition and reaction conditions  Fuel  (2008),  87(17-18),  3483-3489.  
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