The Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory facilitates collaborative research and development in catalysts for a secure energy future.
Scientists review cutting-edge techniques that offer insights into processes of interest for energy production, storage, and catalysis
When determining how complex molecules drive reactions relevant to fuel production, pollution abatement, and energy storage, scientists often contend with unrelated molecules that obscure their studies. Some researchers avoid these troublemakers by using ion soft- and reactive-landing techniques that sort the molecules by their mass-to-charge ratio, kinetic energy, and ionic charge state. The scientists can concentrate the purified molecules into a beam and control its size, shape, and position to prepare highly tailored films and structures. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Julia Laskin, Dr. Grant Johnson, and Dr. Don Gunaratne took on the challenge of reviewing these techniques. Their article covers hundreds of studies.
Catalyst produces hydrogen through steam reforming of biomass-derived ethylene glycol
Hydrogen production through steam reforming biomass-derived compounds is an economically feasible and environmentally benign way to efficiently use renewable energy resources. A recent study by scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory compared the hydrogen yield achieved by several different metal catalysts used for steam reforming ethylene glycol. The findings show a cobalt catalyst had a much higher hydrogen yield than rhodium or nickel catalysts, making it a promising catalyst for steam reforming ethylene glycol for hydrogen production.
Combining 4 well-known reactions precisely predicts how well a catalyst performs
High efficiency is the goal when using renewable energy to split water into hydrogen (a fuel) and oxygen. Catalysts are the workhorses that accomplish this conversion, but in some cases, scientists haven't had an easy way to know if a catalyst is living up to its potential. Methods are well established for calculating that potential when the catalyst is in water, but not when in other solvents. Scientists have found a way to bridge this gap. With just four reactions, the team showed how much energy each catalyst could use if it worked perfectly. This work was done through the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center.
Understanding how chaos and other factors affect energy and environment
Whether forming clouds, storing carbon dioxide, or producing zero-emission fuels, the reaction occurs at the point where a solid and liquid meet. At the interface, the molecules involved don't behave as expected. The rules for molecular interactions differ from the more well-known interface between a solid and a gas. Scientists have created computational, or theory-based, approaches that have shed new light on the solid-liquid interface. Dr. Vanda Glezakou and Dr. Roger Rousseau from DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have brought experts on this research for a two-day symposium.
Phosphorus atoms help drive metal to form ammonia, adding insights to turning renewable energy to fuel
At the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, scientists showed what it takes to make long-overlooked chromium help form ammonia; this work is a critical step in controlling a reaction that could store electrons from intermittent wind and solar stations in use-any-time fuels.