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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.

  • Artistic representation of methane removal from clay layers

    Quarterbacking Catalysts by Positioning Atoms

    To create a winning football team, quarterbacks send their team mates to the right spots. Positioned correctly, the players work around obstacles to drive the ball to the end zone. In much the same way, scientists position catalytic atoms to drive reactions that can yield fuels, plastics, or other desired products. A team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory changed how scientists think about positioning key players: oxygen atoms.

  • Artistic representation of methane removal from clay layers

    Methane Goes Out With Carbon Dioxide, But There's a Catch

    How small molecules interact with surfaces matters for large tasks such as recovering natural gas from shales and catalyzing reactions for fuels. In particular, the molecular details matter. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found out how methane (essentially, natural gas) is distorted and how that affects its removal by supercritical carbon dioxide (used to push natural gas out of reservoirs) in layers of clay.

  • United States map showing joint appointments

    Read the Latest Issue of Transformations

    The Institute for Integrated Catalysis's Transformations newsletter highlights innovation and collaboration in catalysis. The January 2018 issue focuses on building connectivity in catalysis.

  • Artistic view of catalyst working in exhaust system

    New Catalyst Meets Challenge of Cleaning Exhaust from Modern Engines

    Researchers discovered a new type of catalytic active site that meets the dual challenge of achieving high activity and thermal stability in single-atom catalysts to improve vehicle emissions.

  • John Peters

    John Peters Selected as AAAS Fellow

    Congratulations to Dr. John Peters on being elected an American Association of the Advancement of Science Fellow. Peters is a joint appointed laboratory fellow at DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and director and professor at Washington State University's Institute of Biological Chemistry.

The Institute for Integrated Catalysis explores and develops the chemistry and technology of catalyzed processes that enable a carbon-neutral future.

Catalysis is key to sustainable development that secures energy independence, and it is critical to the transition from the current use of carbon resources for energy and chemicals towards solely using recycled and renewable carbon as well as renewable energy resources. Currently, 80 percent of all chemical products and energy carriers are made using catalysts in at least one of the processing steps, producing an economic impact estimated to be over $10 trillion per year worldwide. The long-term transition to a sustainable economy requires not only reinventing the large processes of today, but also enabling the harvest and use of dispersed renewable carbon and energy resources. These challenges define the mission of the Institute for Integrated Catalysis (IIC):

  • Provide the insight, the synthetic tools, and the engineering concepts to enable catalyzed chemical and chemical-electrical energy interconversions to minimize the carbon footprint of the global energy system.
  • Develop experimental and theoretical tools to better understand the structure and properties of working catalysts to be used as guidelines for novel catalyst generations and novel reaction routes.
  • Translate the fundamental insight into novel and improved catalytic technology.
IIC contributors

The IIC integrates more than 120 scientists and engineers from different organizations at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. These organizations include the Physical and Computational Science Directorate (PCSD), the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), and the Energy and Environment Directorate (EED) and encompass a wide range of catalysis disciplines. The cross-disciplinary collaboration and mutual influence produces a unique creative environment, which is a prerequisite for transformative research. The key scientific challenges addressed within the IIC focus on adding hydrogen to oxo-functionalized carbon resources (such as biomass constituents or carbon dioxide), storing electric energy in hydrogen, oxygen, or nitrogen (key focuses of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center), manipulating carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds, and exhaust catalysis.

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