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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.

  • Drawing of nitrogenase

    A Cooperative Way to Make Ammonia

    A better understanding of how bacteria fix nitrogen molecules into ammonia could lead to energy savings in industrial processes such as those that produce fertilizer. Researchers are studying the bacterial enzyme that does this, a complicated enzyme called nitrogenase. In new work, researchers discovered essential information about the manner in which nitrogenase produces ammonia, according to work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Karl Mueller working on instrument

    PNNL to Partner with University of Oregon

    A new agreement between DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Oregon will allow scientists to obtain joint appointments that bridge the two research institutions. The agreement paves the way for greater collaboration between the two institutions. The initial commitment of the joint appointment agreement is focused on chemistry, biochemistry and materials science.

  • Virgin Air flight

    PNNL is Part of Virgin Atlantic Airlines' Plan to Fly on Biofuels

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been working with industry partner, LanzaTech, to convert alcohols derived from captured carbon monoxide, a byproduct in the production of steel, into synthetic paraffinic kerosene, a non-fossil-based jet fuel. The technology not only provides a viable source of sustainable jet fuel but also reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere.

  • Johannes Lercher

    Johannes Lercher Received Inaugural Lectureship from Australian Catalysis Society

    Director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Institute for Integrated Catalysis, Dr. Johannes Lercher was chosen for the inaugural David Trim and Noel Cant Lectureship sponsored by the Catalysis Society of Australia. Lercher will share his insights on fundamental and applied research with researchers across Australia.

  • Artistic representation of plasmon-based synthesis of gold nanoparticles

    Light Strikes Gold to Create Better Catalysts

    Tiny particles of gold are highly stable and have other attractive features suitable for use in certain industrial applications. However, it's been difficult to control the size and shape of single-crystal nanostructures. Recently, scientists revealed a specialized strategy that lets them synthesize a plethora of hexagonal or triangular gold crystals. The research team is from the University of Florida, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The Institute for Integrated Catalysis focuses on the development of novel catalytic chemistries that chart the course towards a zero-carbon-footprint future.
Catalyst technologies affect nearly all areas of the chemical and petroleum industries with the economic impact estimated to be over $10 trillion per year worldwide. Because of the unprecedented increase in the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the focus on catalytic processes is shifting towards developing chemical pathways to facilitate the transition from the current fossil carbon-based economy to a zero-carbon footprint energy future. Thus, catalysis faces the challenge to reinvent the large processes matured over decades to enable a viable synthesis of energy carriers at scales 100 to 1000 times smaller than today's chemical plants and refineries. This can only be done by developing new catalysts that can operate under less severe conditions, with higher rates and selectivities than previously possible. These objectives define the mission of the Institute for Integrated Catalysis (IIC), located at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The IIC integrates over 120 scientists and engineers covering a wide range of catalysis disciplines. Their collaboration and mutual influence produces a unique creative environment, which is the prerequisite for transformative research.
The key areas of interest
  • Storing electric energy in hydrogen (a focus of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center)
  • Adding hydrogen to oxo-functionalized carbon resources (that is, biomass constituents or CO2)
  • Manipulating carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds
  • Exhaust catalysis

Institute for Integrated Catalysis

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