The Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory facilitates collaborative research and development in catalysts for a secure energy future.
New topographical map shows the energy hills and valleys involved in turning electrons into fuel
When starting out on a new adventure, it helps to have a map, allowing you to determine how to best spend your time and energy along the way. The same is true for chemical reactions. Without understanding the steps involved, reactions can end up on energy-wasting backroads or creating toxic wastes. Unfortunately, few reaction maps exist because of the expertise needed to chart all the possible paths. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists mapped areaction that turns wind-generated electricity into fuel and the amount of energy needed for each step.
From cyber security, trace chemical detection, and turning sewage into fuel, to understanding real-world energy processes and forecasting future electric needs, PNNL was part of developing five advancements honored at a recent award event in Las Vegas.
Dr. Scott Chambers was elected to the rank of Fellow the American Physical Society. He is a Laboratory Fellow and leads a research team focused on the properties of "designer" oxides -- materials that combine different metal atoms with oxygen atoms into solid materials. Oxides have wide-ranging properties, making them useful for electronic and magnetic technologies, as well as for photocatalysts, which use light to speed up chemical reactions.
Scientists can now study samples under industrial conditions thanks to new tool
Obtaining structural information about a sample on an atomistic or molecular level under conditions that mimic conditions underground, in the deep ocean, and in chemical reactors is now possible, thanks to a sample-holding rotor developed by scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. When partnered with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance, the rotor enables scientists to study samples under extreme conditions.
Invited review shows progress in building ordered or chaotic structures for fuel cells
Fuel cells could play a larger role in producing power without pollution, but the cells suffer because of the carbon-based materials that support the catalytic platinum. The support often lets the platinum dissolve, form into clumps, or escape. Dr. Yuehe Lin at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and his colleagues described the state of the science in building new materials to keep the platinium in place in an invited article in Chemical Reviews.