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Institute for Integrated Catalysis

Core Basic Energy Sciences Catalysis Program:

Low-Temperature Catalytic Routes for Energy Carriers via Spatial and Chemical Organization

PI - Johannes Lercher
Co-PIs - Aaron Appel, Tom Autrey, David Baker (University of Washington), Garry Buchko, R. Morris Bullock, Donald M. Camaioni, Mirek Derewinski, David Dixon (University of Alabama), Zdenek Dohnálek, Bojana Ginovska, Vassiliki-Alexandra Glezakou, Oliver Y. Gutierrez, David Heldebrant, Enrique Iglesia (University of California, Berkeley), Abhi Karkamkar, Bruce Kay, Gregory Kimmel, John Linehan, Donghai Mei, Roger Rousseau, Gregory Schenter, Wendy Shaw, Janos Szanyi, Yong Wang (Washington State University), Eric Wiedner

The program has been restructured and focuses on the elementary reactions of the reduction of oxygenates to hydrocarbon energy carriers (Figure 1). The two thrusts focus on the elementary steps of hydrogenation reactions of CO2 and more complex (unsaturated) oxygenates (i.e., alcohols, ethers) catalyzed by metals (hydrogen addition, hydrogenolysis) and acid-catalyzed reactions such as the elimination of water, hydrolysis of ether bonds, and alkylation of aromatic compounds. Our strategy is to explore and understand the molecular and atomistic pathways of selected reactions on catalysts spanning from single-crystal surfaces via dispersed, supported catalysts to molecular complexes. The fundamental understanding of the elemental steps of reaction sequences enables the emerging knowledge-based design of novel catalysts that operate at lower temperatures and with higher rates than practiced today.

We are making rapid progress on our research objectives using an integrated approach enabled by the synergy within our multidisciplinary team focusing on three crosscutting research themes that are common to many of the research activities:

  • Multifunctional catalytic sites or catalytic sites acting in concert
  • Spatially constrained, chemospecific environments of active centers
  • Use of the condensed phase to stabilize reactants, intermediates, and products for particular catalytic pathways.

Thrust 1 and Thurst 2.

Thrust Areas
Figure 1. Program structure showing the two thrust areas and their focus.

Thrust 1: Catalytic Conversion of Polar Molecules

Thrust 2: Reductive Conversion of CO2

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