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Mark Crocker


BSc. University of Bristol, 1982
Ph.D. University of Bristol, 1985
NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, U. of Wisconsin-Madison, 1985-87


Research in our group is focused on two principal objectives: to reduce the environmental impacts of fuel use and to develop renewable fuel sources. Central to these goals is the application of catalysis. In addition to the synthesis of novel catalysts, studies are conducted to probe catalyst structure, mode of action and deactivation mechanisms.

Research is conducted at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) in collaboration with a number of other university departments and external institutions, and is performed by both students and CAER staff. Collaboration between CAER and the various science and engineering departments at UK allows students to receive traditional graduate and undergraduate education, while being exposed to the unique multidisciplinary environment at CAER. For an overview of the main topics currently being researched please refer to the CAER website:

Graduate Training

Organometallic chemistry

Selected Publications:
  • J. Roberts, Y. Song, M. Crocker, C. Risko, “A Genetic Algorithmic Approach to Determine the Structure of Li-Al Layered Double Hydroxides”, J. Chem. Information Modeling, 2020,

  • Y. Zhu, J. Cheng, X. Xu, Z. Zhang, S. Chen, J. Tian, W. Yang, M. Crocker, “Simultaneous promotion of photosynthesis and astaxanthin accumulation during two stages of Haematococcus pluvialis with ammonium ferric citrate”, Sci. Total Environ., 750 (2020) 141689.

  • M.H. Wilson, A. Shea, J. Groppo, C. Crofcheck, D. Quiroz, J.C. Quinn, M. Crocker, “Algae-based Beneficial Re-use of Carbon Emissions Using a Novel Photobioreactor:  A Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis”, Bioenergy Res., 2020, DOI 10.1007/s12155-020-10178-9.

  • B. Chen, Q. Zhao, L. Yu, M. Crocker, C. Shi, “New insights into the size and support effects of γ-Al2O3 supported Au catalyst for HCHO oxidation at room temperature”. Catal. Sci. Technol., 10 (2020) 4571.

  • Q. Zhao, B. Chen, M. Crocker, C. Shi, “Insights into the structure-activity relationships of highly efficient CoMn oxides for the low temperature NH3-SCR of NOx”, Appl. Catal. B, 277 (2020) 119215.

  • B. Chen, B. Wu, L. Yu, M. Crocker, C. Shi, “Investigation into the catalytic roles of various oxygen species over different crystal phases of MnO2 for C6H6 and HCHO oxidation”, ACS Catal. 10 (2020) 6176.

  • A. Kvasničková, P. Kočì, Y. Ji, M. Crocker, “Effective model of NOx adsorption and desorption on PtPd/CeO2-ZrO2 passive NOx adsorber”, Catal. Lett., 150 (2020) 3223-3233.

  • Z. Wang, B. Chen, M. Crocker, L. Yu, C. Shi, “New insights into alkaline metal modified CoMn-oxide catalysts for formaldehyde oxidation at low temperatures”, Appl. Catal. A, 596 (2020) 117512. 

  • M.S. Rahaman, T.K. Phung, M.A. Hossain, E. Chowdury, S. Tulaphol, S.B. Lalvani, M. O’Toole, G.A. Willing, J.B. Jasinski, M. Crocker, N. Sathitsuksanoh, “Hydrophobic functionalization of HY zeolites for efficient conversion of glycerol to solketal”, Appl. Catal. A, 592 (220) 117369.  

  • G.C.R. Silva, D. Qian, R. Pace, O. Heintz, G. Caboche, E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Crocker, “Promotional effect of Cu, Fe and Pt on the performance of Ni/Al2O3 in the deoxygenation of used cooking oil to fuel-like hydrocarbons”, Catalysts, 10 (2020) 91.

  • B.D. Beckstrom, M.H. Wilson, M. Crocker, J.C. Quinn, “Bioplastic production from microalgae with fuel co-products: A techno-economic and life-cycle assessment”, Algal Res., 46 (2020) 101769. 

  • Y. Ji, S. Bai, D. Xu, D. Qian, Z. Wu, Y. Song, R. Pace, M. Crocker, K. Wilson, A. Lee, D. Harris, D. Scapens, “Pd-promoted WO3-ZrO2 for low temperature NOx storage”, Appl. Catal. B, 264 (2020) 118499. 

  • M. Al-Amery, A.B. Downie, S. DeBolt, M. Crocker, K. Urschel, B. Goff, N. Teets, J. Gollihue, D. Hildebrand, “Proximate composition of enhanced DGAT high oil, high protein soybeans”, Biocatal. Agri. Biotechnol., 21 (2019) 101303.

  • D. Mohler, M.H. Wilson, S. Kesner, J.Y. Schambach, D. Vaughan, M. Frazar, J. Stewart, J. Groppo, R. Pace, M. Crocker, “Beneficial re-use of CO2 emissions using microalgae: Demonstration assessment and biomass characterization”, Biores. Technol., 293 (2019) 122014.   

  • A. Aher, R. Sarma, M. Crocker, D. Bhattacharyya, “Selective molecular separation of lignin model compounds by reduced graphene oxide membranes from solvent-water mixture, Sep. Pur. Technol., 230 (2020) 115865.

  • D.K. Sharma, H. Dhawan, T. Morgan, M. Crocker, “Py-GCMS studies of Indian coals and their solvent extracted products”, Fuel, 256 (2019) 115981.  

  • D.T. Mohler, M.H. Wilson, Z. Fan, J.G. Groppo, M. Crocker, “Beneficial Reuse of Industrial CO2 Emissions Using a Microalgae Photobioreactor: Waste Heat Utilization Assessment”, Energies, 12 (2019) 2634.

  • Y. Song, A.H. Motagamwala, S.D. Karlen, J.A. Dumesic, J. Ralph, J.K. Mobley, M. Crocker, “A comparative study of secondary depolymerization methods on oxidized lignins”, Green Chem., 21 (2019) 3940.   

  • B. Chen, L. Wu, B. Wu, Z. Wang, L. Yu, M. Crocker, A. Zhu, C. Shi, “Catalytic Materials for Low Concentration VOCs Removal through “Storage‐Regeneration” Cycling”, ChemCatChem, 2019,

  • Z. Bai, B. Chen, Q. Zhao, C. Shi, M. Crocker, “Positive effects of K+ in hybrid CoMn-K and Pd/Ba/Al2O3 catalysts for NOx storage and reduction”, Appl. Catal. B, 249 (2019) 333.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, R. Pace, T. Morgan, C. Behnke, D.J. Sajkowski, A. Lappas, M. Crocker, “Co-processing of hydrothermal liquefaction algal bio-oil and petroleum feedstock to fuel-like hydrocarbons via fluid catalytic cracking”, Fuel. Proc. Technol., 188 (2019) 164.

  • R. Loe, K. Huff, M. Walli, T. Morgan, D. Qian, R. Pace, Y. Song, M. Isaacs, E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Crocker, “Effect of Pt promotion on the Ni-catalyzed deoxygenation of tristearin to fuel-like hydrocarbons”, Catalysts, 9 (2019) 200.

  • R. Loe, Y. Lavoignat, M. Maier, M. Abdallah, T. Morgan, D. Qian, R. Pace, E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Crocker, “Continuous Catalytic Deoxygenation of Waste Free Fatty Acid-Based Feeds to Fuel-Like Hydrocarbons Over a Supported Ni-Cu catalyst”, Catalysts, 9 (2019) 123. 

  • Q. Zhao, B. Chen, Z. Bai, L. Yu, M. Crocker, C. Shi, “Hybrid catalysts with enhanced C3H6 resistance for NH3-SCR of NOx”, Appl. Catal. B, 242 (2019) 161. 

  • Y. Ji, D. Xu, M. Crocker, J.R. Theis, C. Lambert, A. Bueno-Lopez, D. Harris, D. Scapens, “Mn-based mixed oxides for low temperature NOx adsorber applications”, Appl. Catal. A, 567 (2018) 90. 

  • Y. Song, J.K. Mobley, A.H. Motagamwala, M. Isaacs, J.A. Dumesic, J. Ralph, A.F. Lee, K. Wilson, M. Crocker, “Gold-catalyzed conversion of lignin to low molecular weight aromatics”, Chem. Sci., 9 (2018) 8127.

  • J.K. Mobley, J.A. Jennings, T. Morgan, A. Kiefer, M. Crocker, “Oxidation of Benzylic Alcohols and Lignin Model compounds with Layered Double Hydroxide Catalysts”, Inorganics, 6 (2018) 75.

  • S. Yao, J. Mobley, J. Ralph, M. Crocker, S. Parkin, J.P. Selegue, M.S. Meier, “Mechanochemical treatment facilitates two-step oxidative depolymerization of kraft lignin”, ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng., 6 (2018) 5990. 

  • E. Liu, M. Li, L. Das, Y. Pu, T. Frazier, B. Zhao, M. Crocker, A.J. Ragauskas, J. Shi, “Understanding Lignin Fractionation and Characterization from Engineered Switchgrass Treated by an Aqueous Ionic Liquid”, ASC Sustain. Chem. Eng., 2018, 6, 6612.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, R. Loe, M. Garrett, T. Morgan, M. Crocker, “Effect of Cu promotion on cracking and methanation during the Ni-catalyzed deoxygenation of waste lipids and hemp seed oil to fuel-like hydrocarbons”, Catal. Today, 302 (2018) 261.

  • E. Liu, L. Das, M. Crocker, B. Zhao, J. Shi, “Impact of dilute sulfuric acid, ammonium hydroxide and ionic liquid pretreatment on the fractionation and characterization of engineered switchgrass”, BioEnergy Research, 10 (2017) 1079.

  • A. Ligaba-Osena, B. Hankoua, K. DiMarco, R. Pace, M. Crocker, J. McAtee, N. Nagachar, M. Tien, T. Richard, “Reducing biomass recalcitrance by heterologous expression of a bacterial peroxidase in tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana)”, Scientific Reports, 7 (2017) 17104.   

  • T. Morgan, E. Santillan-Jimenez, K. Huff, K.R. Javed, M. Crocker, “Use of Dual Detection in the Gas Chromatographic Analysis of Oleaginous Biomass Feeds and Biofuels Products to Enable Accurate Simulated Distillation and Lipid Profiling”, Energy & Fuels, 31 (2017) 9498.

  • Z. Bai, B. Chen, L. Yu, Q. Zhao, M. Crocker, C. Shi, “The function of Pt in plasma-assisted NOx storage and reduction”, Catal. Comm., 102 (2017) 81. 

  • Y. Ji, D. Xu, S. Bai, U. Graham, M. Crocker, B. Chen, C. Shi, D. Harris, D. Scapens, J. Darab, “Pt- and Pd-promoted CeO2-ZrO2 for passive NOx adsorber applications”, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 56 (2017) 111.

  • S. Jones, Y. Ji, A. Bueno-Lopez, V. Song, M, Crocker, “CeO2-M2O3 Passive NOx Adsorbers for Cold Start Applications”, Emission Control Sci. Technol., 3 (2017) 59.

  • Z. Zhang, C. Shi, Z. Bai, M. Li, B. Chen, M. Crocker, “Low Temperature H2-plasma Assisted NOx Storage and Reduction over the Combined Pt/Ba/Al and LaMnFe Catalyst”, Catal. Sci. Technol., 7 (2017) 145.

  • S.G. Yao, M.S. Meier, R.B. Pace III, M. Crocker, “A comparison of the oxidation of lignin model compounds in conventional and ionic liquid solvents and application to the oxidation of lignin”, RSC Advances, 6 (2016) 104742.

  • M.H. Wilson, D.T. Mohler,  J.G. Groppo, T. Grubbs, S. Kesner, E.M. Frazar, A. Shea, C. Crofcheck, M. Crocker, “Capture and Recycle of Industrial CO2 Emissions using Microalgae”, Appl. Petrochem. Res., 6(3) (2016) 279.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, R. Pace, S. Marques, T. Morgan, C. McKelphin, J. Mobley, M. Crocker, “Extraction, characterization, purification and catalytic upgrading of algae lipids to fuel-like hydrocarbons”, Fuel, 180 (2016) 668.

  • R. Loe, E. Santillan-Jimenez, T. Morgan, L. Sewell, Y. Ji, S. Jones, M.A. Isaacs, A.F. Lee, M. Crocker, “Effect of Cu and Sn promotion on the catalytic deoxygenation of model and algal lipids to fuel-like hydrocarbons over supported Ni catalysts”, Appl. Catal. B, 191 (2016) 147. 

  • S. Jones, Y. Ji, M. Crocker, “Ceria-Based Catalysts for Low Temperature NOx Storage and Release”, Catal. Lett., 146 (2016) 909.

  • X. E, C. Crofcheck, M. Crocker, “Application of recycled media and algae-based anaerobic digestate in Scenedesmus cultivation”, J. Renew. Sustain. Energy, 8(1) (2016) 013116.

  • J. Mobley, S. Yao, M. Crocker, M. Meier, “Oxidation of Lignin and Lignin ß-O-4 Model Compounds via Activated Dimethyl Sulfoxide”, RSC Advances, 5 (2015) 105136.

  • Y. Wang, S. Yao, M. Crocker, X. Zhu, B. Chen, J. Xie, C. Shi, D. Ma, “An energy-efficient catalytic process for the tandem removal of formaldehyde and benzene by metal/HZSM-5 catalysts”, Catal. Sci. Technol., 5 (2015) 4968. 

  • Z. Zhang, M. Crocker, B. Chen, X. Wang, Z. Bai, C. Shi, “Non-thermal plasma-assisted NOx storage and reduction over cobalt-containing LNT catalysts”, Catal. Today, 258 (2015) 386.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, T. Morgan, M. Crocker, “Continuous catalytic deoxygenation of model and algal lipids to fuel-like hydrocarbons over Ni-Al layered double hydroxide”, Catal. Today, 258 (2015) 284. 

  • Z. Zhang, M. Crocker, L. Yu, X. Wang, C. Shi, “Non-thermal plasma-assisted NOx storage and reduction over cobalt-containing Pd catalyst using H2 and/or CO as reductants”, Catal. Today, 258 (2015) 175.

  • Z. Zhang, M. Crocker, B. Chen, Z. Bai, X. Wang, C. Shi, “Pt-free, non-thermal plasma-assisted NOx storage and reduction over M/Ba/Al2O3 (M = Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu) catalysts”, Catal. Today, 256 (2015) 115.

  • J.K. Mobley, M. Crocker, “Catalytic oxidation of alcohols to carbonyl compounds over hydrotalcite and hydrotalcite-supported catalysts”, RSC Advances, 5 (2015) 65780.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Perdu, R. Pace, T. Morgan, M. Crocker, “Activated Carbon, Carbon Nanofiber and Carbon Nanotube Supported Molybdenum Carbide Catalysts for the Hydrodeoxygenation of Guaiacol”, Catalysts, 5 (2015) 424.   

  • J.-S. Choi, V. Schwartz, E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Crocker, S.A. Lewis Sr., M.J. Lance, H.M. Meyer III, K.L. More, “Structural Evolution of Molybdenum Carbides in Hot Aqueous Environments and Impact on Low-Temperature Hydroprocessing of Acetic Acid, Catalysts, 5 (2015) 406.

  • Y. Ji, S. Bai, M. Crocker, “Al2O3-based Passive NOx Adsorbers for Low Temperature Applications”, Appl. Catal. B, 170 (2015) 283.

  • N.D. Patil, S.G. Yao, M.S. Meier, J.K. Mobley, M. Crocker, “Selective Oxidation of the Cα-Cß Linkage in Lignin Model Compounds by Baeyer-Villiger Oxidation”, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2015, 13, 3243.

  • A.E. Ware, M. Crocker, R.B. Pace, A. Placido, S. Morton III, S. Debolt, “Characterization of Endocarp Biomass and Extracted Lignin using Pyrolysis and Spectroscopic Methods”, Bioenergy Res., 8 (2015) 350.

  • Z. Zhang, B. Chen, X. Wang, C. Au, C. Shi, M. Crocker, “NOx storage and reduction properties of model manganese-based lean NOx trap catalysts, Appl. Catal. B, 165 (2015) 232.

  • V. Rico-Pérez, A. Bueno-López, D.J. Kim, Y. Ji, M. Crocker, “Pt/CexPr1-xO2 (x = 1 or 0.9) NOx Storage-Reduction (NSR) Catalysts”, Appl. Catal. B, 163 (2015) 313.

  • M.H. Wilson, J. Groppo, A. Placido, S. Graham, S.A. Morton III, E. Santillan-Jimenez, A. Shea, M. Crocker, C. Crofcheck, R. Andrews, CO2 recycling using microalgae for the production of fuels, Appl. Petrochem. Res. 4 (2014) 41.

  • T. Morgan, E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Crocker, Simulated Distillation Approach to the Gas Chromatographic Analysis of Feedstock and Products in the Deoxygenation of Lipids to Hydrocarbon Biofuels, Energy & Fuels, 28 (2014) 2654.

  • H.-Y. Shin, J.-H. Ryu, S.-Y. Bae, C. Crofcheck, M. Crocker, “Lipid extraction from Scenedesmus sp. microalgae for biodiesel production using hot compressed hexane”, Fuel, 130 (2014) 66.

  • C. Petti, R. Kushwaha, M. Tateno, A.E. Harman-Ware, M. Crocker, J. Awika, S. DeBolt, “Mutagenesis breeding for increased 3-deoxyanthocyanidin accumulation in leaves of Sorghum bicolor (L.): a source of natural food pigment”, J. Agri. Food Chem., 62 (2014) 1227.

  • M.-Y. Kim, J.-S. Choi, M. Crocker, “Roles of C3H6 in NH3 Generation and NOx Reduction over a Cu-chabazite SCR Catalyst under Lean/Rich Cycling Conditions”, Catal. Today, 231 (2014) 90.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, T. Morgan, J. Shoup, A.E. Harman-Ware, M. Crocker, “Catalytic deoxygenation of triglycerides and fatty acids to hydrocarbons over Ni-Al layered double hydroxide”, Catal. Today, 237 (2014) 136.

  • D.J. Kim, J. Wang, M. Crocker, “Adsorption and desorption of propene on a commercial Cu-CHA SCR catalyst”, Catal. Today, 231 (2014) 83.

  • J. Wang, Y. Ji, G. Jacobs, S. Jones, D.J. Kim, M. Crocker, “Effect of Aging on NOx Reduction in Coupled LNT-SCR Systems”, Appl. Catal. B, 148-149 (2014) 51.

  • C. Crofcheck, X. E, A. Shea, M. Montross, M. Crocker, R. Andrews, “Influence of flue gas components on the growth rate of Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus acutus”, Transactions of the ASABE, 56(6) (2013) 1421.

  • C. Petti, A.E. Harman-Ware, M. Tateno, R. Kushwaha, A. Shearer, A.B. Downie, M. Crocker, S. DeBolt, “Sorghum mutant RG displays antithetic leaf shoot lignin accumulation resulting in improved stem saccharification properties”, Biotechnol. Biofuels 6 (2013) 146.

  • C. Crofcheck, X. E, A. Shea, M. Montross, M. Crocker, R. Andrews, “Influence of media composition on the growth rate of Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus acutus utilized for CO2 mitigation”, J. Biochem. Tech.., 4(2) (2012) 589.

  • A.E. Harman-Ware, T. Morgan, M. Wilson, M. Crocker, J. Zhang, K. Liu, J. Stork, S. Debolt, “Microalgae as a renewable fuel source: fast pyrolysis of Scenedesmus sp.”, Renewable Energy, 60 (2013) 625.

  • C. Shi, Z. Zhang, M. Crocker, L. Xu, C. Wang, C. Au, A. Zhu, “Non-thermal plasma-assisted NOx storage and Reduction on a LaMn0.9Fe0.1O3 perovskite catalyst”, Catal. Today, 211 (2013) 96.

  • Y. Ji, T.J Toops, M. Crocker, “Isocyanate formation and reactivity on a Ba-based LNT catalyst studied by DRIFTs”, Appl. Catal. B, 140-141 (2013) 265.

  • A.E. Harman-Ware, M. Crocker, A. Preet Kaur, M.S. Meier, D. Kato, B. Lynn, “Pyrolysis-GC/MS of sinapyl and coniferyl alcohol”, J. Anal. Appl. Pyrol., 99 (2013) 161.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, T. Morgan, J. Lacny, S. Mohapatra, M. Crocker, “Catalytic deoxygenation of triglycerides and fatty acids over carbon-supported nickel”, Fuel 103 (2013) 1010.

  • J. Wang, M. Crocker, “N2O Mitigation in a Coupled LNT-SCR System”, Catal. Lett., 142 (2012) 1167.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Crocker, “Catalytic deoxygenation of fatty acids and their derivatives to hydrocarbon fuels via decarboxylation/decarbonylation”, J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol., 87 (2012) 1041.

  • V. Easterling, Y. Ji, M. Crocker, M. Dearth, R.W. McCabe, “Application of spaciMS to the study of ammonia formation in lean NOx trap catalysts”, Appl. Catal. B, 123-124 (2012) 339.

  • C. Shi, Y. Ji, U.M. Graham, G. Jacobs, M. Crocker, Z. Zhang, Y. Wang, T.J. Toops, NOx Storage and Reduction Properties of Model Ceria-based Lean NOx Trap Catalysts”, Appl. Catal. B, 119-120 (2012) 183-196.

  • V. Mendu, T. Shearin, J.E. Campbell Jr., J. Stork, J. Jae, M. Crocker, G. Huber, S. DeBolt, “Global bioenergy potential from high-lignin agricultural residue”, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 109 (2012) 4014.

  • T. Morgan, E. Santillan-Jimenez, A.E. Harman-Ware, Y. Ji, D. Grubb, M. Crocker, “Catalytic deoxygenation of triglycerides to hydrocarbons over supported nickel catalysts”, Chem. Eng. J., 189-190 (2012) 346-355.

  • J. Wang, Y. Ji, Z. He, M. Crocker, M. Dearth, R.W. McCabe, “A non-NH3 pathway for NOx conversion in coupled LNT-SCR systems”, Appl. Catal. B 111-112 (2012) 562.

  • V. Mendu, A.E. Harman-Ware, M. Crocker, J. Jae, J. Stork, S. Morton III, A. Placido, G. Huber, S. DeBolt, “ Identification and thermochemical analysis of high-lignin feedstocks for biofuel and biochemical production”, Biotechnol. Biofuels, 4 (2011) 43.

  • J. Wang, Y. Ji, V. Easterling, M. Crocker, M. Dearth, R.W. McCabe, “The effect of regeneration conditions on the selectivity of NOx reduction in a fully formulated lean NOx trap catalyst”, Catal. Today, 175 (2011) 83.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, M. Crocker, A. Bueno-López, C. Salinas-Martínez de Lecea, “Carbon nanotube-supported metal catalysts for NOx reduction using hydrocarbon reductants: gas switching and adsorption studies”, Ind. Chem. Eng. Res., 50 (2011) 7191.

  • J. Wang, Y. Ji, U. Graham, C. Spindola Cesar de Oliveira, M. Crocker, “NOx Reduction on Fully Formulated Lean NOx Trap Catalysts Subjected to Simulated Road Aging: Insights from Steady-State Experiments”, Chin. J. Catal., 32 (2011) 736.

  • Y. Ji, V. Easterling, U. Graham, C. Fisk, M. Crocker, J,-S. Choi, “Effect of aging on the NOx storage and reduction characteristics of fully formulated lean NOx trap catalysts”, Appl. Catal. B 103 (2011) 413.

  • E. Santillan-Jimenez, V. Milikovic-Kocic, M. Crocker, K. Wilson, “Carbon nanotube-supported metal catalysts for NOx reduction using hydrocarbon reductants. Part 1: Catalyst preparation, characterization and NOx reduction characteristics, Appl. Catal. B 102 (2011) 1.