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Institute for Integrated Catalysis

The Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory facilitates collaborative research and development in catalysts for a secure energy future.

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Conceptual art of nanoparticles with soft-landing instrument

The Softer Side of Control without Clumping or Capping

Creating bare, two-metal particles provides insights into potential substitutes for costly platinum in fuel cell catalysts

(April 2015)

Replacing some or all of the platinum in fuel cells with common metals in a reactive, highly tunable nanoparticle form may expand fuel cell use. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists created reactive, tunable, bare nanoparticles using a new technique combined with ion soft landing.



Artistic rendering of ammonia synthesis bottleneck

Shattering Bottlenecks in Ammonia Production

New material supplies electrons to quickly disrupt nitrogen bond, speeding up the reaction

(April 2015)

Ammonia is synthesized in massive quantities for crop fertilizers using a process invented in 1909. Now, scientists have created a specialized calcium- and aluminum-based support that removes a troubling bottleneck. The material feeds the catalyst extra electrons, allowing the reaction to work without the need for high pressures. Lowering the pressures required would reduce the cost of ammonia production and make processes safer. Also, it could simplify ammonia synthesis enough to allow it to be a fuel, packing energy from wind turbines and solar cells inside its bonds.



Article named hot article by journal

Sailing Through Uncharted Waters to Discover Catalysts' Secrets

In the last 5 years, scientists have come a long way in characterizing reactions in aqueous environments

(March 2015)

Scientists' review of sailing into the uncharted waters of real time, in situ monitoring of catalytic conversions in water and other liquids was chosen as a hot article by Catalysis Science and Technology. The article is available for free during March 2015.



Zeolite

Catalysis Research Featured in The Molecular Bond

(March 2015)

The latest Molecular Bond, published by DOE's EMSL, focuses on zeolite research enabled by the facility. Dr. Chuck Peden of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Institute for Integrated Catalysis discusses zeolite-based catalysts to reduce automotive emissions. Specifically, he talks about the copper-based zeolite Cu-SSZ-13, which removes nitrogen oxides in lean-burn (more air, less fuel) engines, eventually converting them to nitrogen.



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In the Heat of the Reaction, a Single Atom Delivers

Converting carbon monoxide in fuel cells with a gold catalyst hinges on one ion shuttling the critical electron

(March 2015)

For fuel cells that create electricity without pollutants, converting or oxidizing carbon monoxide is vital, and understanding how this reaction works could open doors for improved efficiency and reduced costs. Led by scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a new study in Nature Communications highlights something new -- a single atom that appears in the heat of action catalyzes the reaction.



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