The Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory facilitates collaborative research and development in catalysts for a secure energy future.
Two Pacific Northwest National Laboratory leaders have been named to the board of the Council for Chemical Research, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance research in chemistry, chemical engineering and related disciplines.
Jud Virden, the associate laboratory director of PNNL’s Energy & Environment Directorate, was elected to the council’s governing board. Kelly O. Sullivan, manager of PNNL’s institutional science and technology investments, was named the council’s second vice chair.
Virden leads a team of nearly 1,000 staff in developing science and technology solutions for energy and environmental challenges studied within PNNL’s Energy & Environment Directorate. Sullivan manages the investment of about $80 million annually to develop PNNL’s capabilities and business as part of PNNL’s Office of the Institutional Strategy, Science and Technology.
On the surface of a popular catalyst, certain atoms and molecules flee when light appears
Despite being part of numerous devices and industrial processes, photocatalytic reactions on metal oxides are not well understood. For example, negatively charged oxygen ions stuck to the catalyst's surface, known as oxygen adatoms, were thought to be unresponsive, when actually the adatoms do respond to light, according scientists at PNNL. The researchers made this discovery by coating the surface of the common catalyst titanium dioxide with krypton reporters. When light strikes the catalyst, the oxygen adatoms become electronically excited and cause the krypton reporters to exit.
Transformations: Meeting the Catalysis Challenge in Aviation Fuels, Propylene Glycol Process Recognized, Role of Frustrated Lewis Pairs in Catalysis
The need for improved catalysts that can be used to create cleaner, cheaper aircraft fuels is highlighted by John Holladay, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Energy and Environment Sector Manager, in the latest edition of PNNL's Institute for Integrated Catalysis' (IIC's) Transformations newsletter. Read also about how combining unique catalysis capabilities with solid R&D expertise, excellent industrial contacts, and plenty of hard work paid off in "Catalysis Process for Producing Propylene Glycol Recognized."
Transformations also contains the IIC's latest video, Frustrated Lewis Pairs, describes a reaction that provides a metal-free way to activate hydrogen and features PNNL scientists Greg Schenter, Shawn Kathmann, and Tom Autrey. View the video here.
Congratulations to Dr. Ilke Arslan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on joining the editorial board for Microscopy & Microanalysis. The journal provides original research articles on imaging and compositional analysis to biologists, materials scientists, and others interested in microscopy. The publication is the official journal of the Microscopy Society of America and eight other societies.
Simple addition to catalyst's outer edge speeds bond breaking and electron release
Fuel cells could store massive quantities of intermittent solar- or wind-generated energy and release it when needed. The cell can break hydrogen-hydrogen bonds, freeing the electrons to do work. But, fuel cells do not play a major role in our nation's energy economy because they require expensive platinum catalysts. A nickel-based catalyst was revised by the Center for Molecular Electrocalysis to quickly break bonds. The catalyst's speed comes from a second proton relay on the outer edge. With the second relay, the catalyst quickly transforms through three different forms, and the proton goes on its way. Without the relay, the catalyst sticks in one form and moving the proton takes much longer.