Chemistry and Biochemistry

Kara Stowers

Kara Stowers

Office: C405 BNSN
Office Phone: 801-422-0835
Office Hours


BS Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Utah (2006)
Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2012)
Postdoctoral Scholar, Harvard University (2012-2014)


Stowers Group Research

The Stowers laboratory has research interests that span inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry in the aim of understanding and improving catalysts.

Using Carbon Dioxide as a Feedstock: We aim to find ways to manage and use Carbon Dioxide.

Inorganic Heterogeneous Catalysis:  We plan to synthesize new catalysts to activate Carbon Dioxide. We aim to use readily available transition metals such as Nickel and Iron. 

Organic Chemistry with Carbon Dioxide:  We aim to react carbon dioxide with other hydrocarbons to form carboxylic acid products such as acrylic acid, succinic acid and adipic acid. 

Physical Chemistry and Surface Science:  We aim to closely study new synthesized catalysts in ultra high vacuum to ultimately design new catalysts, optimize reactions, and improve catalyst efficiency.


Independent Publications:

Nguyen-Sorenson, A. H. T.; Anderson, C. M.; Balijepalli, S. K.; McDonald, K. A.; Matzger, A. J.;  Stowers, K. J.* "Highly active copper catalyst obtained through rapid MOF decomposition" Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers 2019, 6, 521-526.


Zhou, Z..; Balijepalli, S. K.; Nguyen-Sorenson, A.; Anderson, C. M.; Park, J. L.; Stowers, K. J.* "Steam stable covalently-bonded polyethyleneimine modified multiwall carbon nanotubes for carbon dioxide capture" Energy Fuels 2018, 32, 11701-11709.


Shen, T.C.; Zhou, Z.; Anderson, C. M.; Thompson, S. K.; Whitty, K. J.; Stowers, K. J.* Synthesis of high-specific volume carbon nanotube structures for gas-phase applications Diam. Relat. Mater, 2018, 88, 230-236


Park, J. L.; Balijepalli, S. K.; Argyle, M. A.; Stowers, K. J.* Low Temperature Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Ethane by Ce-Modified NiNb Catalysts Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2018, 57, 5234-5240


Zhou, Z.; Anderson, C. M.; Butler, S. K.; Thompson, S. K.; Whitty, K. J.; Shen, T.-C.; Stowers, K. J.* Stability and efficiency of CO2 capture using linear amine polymer modified carbon nanotubes. J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 10486-10494


Previous Publications:

 Zugic, B.; Karakalos, S.; Stowers, K. J.; Biener, M.M.; Biener J.; Friend, C. M.; Madix, R. J. Continuous Catalytic Producation of Methyl Acrylates from Unsaturated Alcohols by Gold: The Strong Effect of C=C Unsaturation on Reaction Selectivity. ACS Catalysis, 2016, 6, 1833-1839.


Karakalos, S.; Zugic, B.; Stowers, K. J.; Biener, M.M.; Biener J.; Friend, C. M.; Madix, R. J. Catalytic production of methyl acrylates by gold-mediated cross coupling of unsaturated aldehydes with methanol. Surf. Sci., 2016, 652, 58-66.


Stowers, K. J.; Biener, M.M.; Biener J.; Friend, C. M.; Madix, R. J. Facile Ester Synthesis on Ag-Modified Nanoporous Au: Oxidative Coupling of Ethanol and  1-Butanol under UHV Conditions. Cat. Lett., 2015, 6, 1217-1223.


Wang, L.C.; Stowers, K. J.; Zugic, B.; Personick, M. J.; Biener, M.M.; Biener J.; Friend, C. M.; Madix, R. J. Exploiting basic principles to control the selectivity of the vapor phase catalytic oxidative cross-coupling of primary alcohols over nanoporous gold catalysts. J. Catal., 2015, 329, 78-86.


Wang, L.C.; Stowers, K. J.; Zugic, B.; Baumer, M.; Biener, M.M.; Biener J.; Friend, C. M.; Madix, R. J. Methyl ester synthesis catalyzed by nanoporous gold: from 10-9 Torr to 1 atm  Cat. Sci. Tech., 2015, 5, 1299-1306.


Stowers, K. J.; Madix, R. J.; Friend, C. M. From model studies on Au(111) to working conditions with unsupported nanoporous gold catalysts: Oxygen-assisted coupling reactions. J. Catal. 2013, 308, 131-141.


Stowers, K. J.; Kubota,; A. Sanford, M. S. Nitrate as a redox co-catalyst for the aerobic Pd-catalyzed oxidation of unactivated sp3-C-H bonds. Chem. Sci. 2012, 3, 3192-3195.


Stowers, K. J.; Fortner, K. F.; Sanford, M. S. Aerobic Pd-Catalyzed sp3 C-H Olefination: A Route to Both N-Heterocyclic Scaffolds and Alkenes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 6541-6544.


Stowers, K. J.; Sanford, M. S. Mechanistic Comparison Between Pd-Catalyzed Ligand Directed C–H Chlorination and C–H Acetoxylation. Org. Lett. 2009, 11, 4584-4587.


Desai, L. V.; Stowers, K. J.; Sanford, M. S. Insights into Directing Group Ability in Palladium-Catalyzed C–H Bond Functionalization. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 13285-13293.


Balija, A. M.; Stowers, K. J.; Schultz, M. J.; Sigman, M. S. Pd(II)-Catalyzed Conversion of Styrene Derivatives to Acetals: Impact of (−)-Sparteine on Regioselectivity. Org. Lett. 2006, 8, 1121-1124.