Mark E Bussell

Science (Chemistry)

Director, Division of Science


View Curriculum Vitae

Professor Mark Bussell received a BA in chemistry from Reed College (Portland, OR) and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a NSF-NATO postdoctoral fellow at the Université Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris, France in 1988-89, and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA) in 1990. Prior to joining Yale-NUS College, Professor Bussell was a member of the chemistry faculty at Western Washington University (1990-present), where he also served as the Director of the Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center (AMSEC, 2013-16). He was a guest professor in the Laboratory of Technical Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich in 1997-98, and a visiting professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering at Tufts University (Somerville, MA) in 2005 and at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) in 2012. Professor Bussell served two terms on the Science Advisory Committee of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA, 2005-2011) and he now serves on the Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board of the American Chemical Society (ACS-PRF, 2012-present) and the RCSA Cottrell Scholar Advisory Committee (2015-present).

Professor Bussell’s research interests lie in the heterogeneous catalysis of energy-relevant conversion processes, with particular focus on the development of catalytic materials for the production of clean and renewable fuels. Current research projects are focused on hydrotreating catalysis: the hydrodesulfurization (HDS) and hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) processes for the production of ultra-low sulfur fuels, and the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) process for upgrading bio-oils to biofuels. Catalyst systems currently under investigation include oxide-supported metal phosphides.


Bowker, R. H.; Smith, M. C.; Pease, M. L.; Slenkamp, K. M.; Kovarik, L.; Bussell, M. E. “Synthesis and Hydrodeoxygenation Properties of Ruthenium Phosphide Catalysts,” ACS Catalysis 2011, 1, 917-922.

Bowker, R. H.; Smith, M. C.; Carrillo, B. A.; Bussell, M. E. “Synthesis and Hydrodesulfurization Properties of Noble Metal Phosphides: Ruthenium and Palladium,” Topics in Catalysis 2012, 55, 999-1009.

Prins, R; Bussell, M.E. “Metal Phosphides: Preparation, Characterization and Catalytic Reactivity,” Catalysis Letters 2012, 142, 1413-1436. (review article)

Savithra, G. H. L.; Muthuswamy, E.; Bowker, R. H.; Carrillo, B. A.; Bussell, M. E.; Brock, S. L. “Rational Design of Nickel Phosphide Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts: Controlling Particle Size and Preventing Sintering,” Chemistry of Materials 2013, 25, 825-833.

Savithra, G. H. L.; Bowker, R. H.; Carrillo, B. A.; Bussell, M. E.; Brock, S. L. “Mesoporous Matrix Encapsulation for the Synthesis of Monodisperse Pd5P2 Nanoparticle Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts,” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2013, 5, 5403-5407.

Bowker, R. H.; Carrillo, B. A.; Ilic, B.; Reynolds, M. A.; Bussell, M. E. “Carbazole Hydrodenitrogenation over Nickel Phosphide and Ni-rich Bimetallic Phosphide Catalysts,” Applied Catalysis A 2014, 482, 221-230.

Liyanage, D. R.; Danforth, S. J.; Liu, Y.; Bussell, M. E.; Brock, S. L. “Simultaneous Control of Composition, Size and Morphology in Discrete Ni2-xCoxP Nanoparticles,” Chemistry of Materials 2015, 27, 4349-4357.

d’Aquino, A. I.; Danforth, S. J.; Clinkingbeard, T. R.; Ilic, B.; Pullan, L; Reynolds, M. A.; Murray, B. D.; Bussell, M. E., “Highly-Active Nickel Phosphide Hydrotreating Catalysts Prepared In Situ Using Nickel Hypophosphite Precursors”, Journal of Catalysis 2016, 335, 204-214.

Danforth, S. J.; Liyanage, D. R.; Hitihami-Mudiyanselage, A.; Ilic, B.; Brock, S. L.; Bussell, M. E. “Probing Hydrodesulfurization over Bimetallic Phosphides Using Monodisperse Ni2-xMxP Nanoparticles Encapsulated in Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles,” Surface Science 2016, 648, 126-135. (Special issue in honor of the 80th birthday of Professor Gabor A. Somorjai)