The Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory facilitates collaborative research and development in catalysts for a secure energy future.
New material supplies electrons to quickly disrupt nitrogen bond, speeding up the reaction
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.
In the last 5 years, scientists have come a long way in characterizing reactions in aqueous environments
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.
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.
Converting carbon monoxide in fuel cells with a gold catalyst hinges on one ion shuttling the critical electron
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.
Catalysis scientist Monte Helm joined national lab colleagues to fill grad students and postdocs in on what it takes to get into a national lab and what it takes to stay. He took part in two webinars hosted by the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry in February and March. The CSMC is a Center for Chemical Innovation sponsored by the NSF offering student and professional development opportunities and programs to train the next generation of innovators.