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Designing the Catalysts Needed for Sustainable Energy
by Dan DuBois

Dan DuBois, PNNL senior scientist and Laboratory Fellow

Electrocatalysts – which drive the interconversion of electricity and chemical energy in the form of chemical bonds – are key to storing and using energy generated by solar, wind, geothermal, or nuclear sources. To create these catalysts, molecular electrocatalysis team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory focuses on using three complementary principles: Take a modular approach; understand the results with modeling; and control the movement of protons.

Read more about these three principles and the research that PNNL is doing in this area.

Looking at Sustainable Energy from Different Perspectives

chemistryThe reaction on the whiteboard of Chemistry 101 is so direct: A + B → C + D. The reality is far more complex. Numerous intermediate steps may occur. These in-between stages can cause delays and create unwanted materials, making the overall reaction inefficient and unaffordable. Characterizing and controlling all of the steps requires more than high-resolution characterization tools. It requires "theroy."

Read more.

90 Seconds of Discovery:

Storing Renewable Energy in Chemical Bonds

90 seconds of DiscoveryWith nearly 7 billion people, the world's population is demanding more electricity every year. Improved technologies are bringing wind and solar power to our electrical grid. However, wind turbines and solar panels only work when the wind blows or the sun shines. PNNL scientists discuss catalysis approaches for storing and releasing energy on demand. Watch the video.

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