Argonne chemists have identified a new catalyst that maximizes the effectiveness of platinum. Platinum—which offers unrivaled activity and stability for electrochemical reactions, such as the conversion of hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity in fuel cells—is both scarce and expensive. Scientists are searching for alternative practical fuel cell catalysts... Details →


QUT team develops stable, bi-functional cobalt-nickel catalyst for water-splitting

Researchers at Australia’s have developed less expensive and more efficient catalysts for producing hydrogen from water-splitting. In a paper in Advanced Functional Materials, they reported introducing a low concentration of gold into Co(OH)2 followed by electrodeposition of Ni(OH)2 to yield a Co(OH)2‐Au‐Ni(OH)2 composite active in overall water splitting. This material... Details →


A team from the US Naval Research Laboratory has developed a non-proprietary method for preparing laboratory-scale proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) that have high power and high current densities despite their low platinum loadings. The membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) feature a commercial PtCo catalyst supported on high surface area... Details →


A University at Buffalo-led research team has developed an efficient platinum group metal (PGM)-free catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in PEM fuel cells that consists of atomically dispersed nitrogen-coordinated single Mn sites on partially graphitic carbon (Mn-N-C). In a paper in Nature Catalysis, the researchers report that the... Details →


German researchers develop multinary noble-metal-free electrocatalyst system as active as platinum

Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Germany have discovered an 5-element alloy that is noble metal-free and as active as platinum. They published their paper in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), as a key reaction in electrocatalysis, attracts considerable attention due... Details →


One factor holding back the widespread use of eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cells in cars, trucks and other vehicles is the cost of the platinum catalysts that make the cells work. One approach to using less precious platinum is to combine it with other cheaper metals, but those alloy catalysts tend... Details →


A research team led by Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute Of Science And Technology (DGIST) Professor Jong-Sung Yu in Korea, with colleagues at UC Berkeley and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, has successfully developed a new catalyst synthesis method that can efficiently decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen using solar light. A... Details →


Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a new catalyst that can convert ammonia into hydrogen fuel at ambient pressure using only light energy, mainly due to a plasmonic effect that makes the catalyst more efficient. Their study, published in Science, describes new catalytic nanoparticles which are made mostly of copper with... Details →


Univ of Illinois team mixed metals with perchloric acid to create stable, efficient catalyst for water splitting

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have mixed metal compounds with perchloric acid to create a stable, efficient electrocatalytic material for the oxygen evolution reaction in acidic media. The resulting porous Y2[Ru1.6Y0.4]O7−δ electrocatalyst exhibits a turnover frequency (TOF) of 560 s−1 (at 1.5 V versus RHE) for the oxygen evolution... Details →


Ames Lab launching $3.2M project to develop software for exascale computing for chemistry of catalysis

The US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory is launching a four-year, $3.2-million project to develop software that will bring the power of exascale computers to the computational study and design of catalytic materials. Ames Laboratory scientist Mark Gordon, also the Francis M. Craig Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State... Details →


Volkswagen and Stanford University develop modified ALD process to increase Pt/C fuel cell catalyst efficiency, improve durability

Volkswagen and Stanford University have developed in partnership a new catalyst production process to reduce the comparatively high cost of automotive fuel cell technology. One of the biggest cost drivers for fuel cells is the use of the precious metal platinum as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell. The... Details →


A Dalhousie University-led team has developed a longer-lasting, higher-efficiency platinum catalyst. The new catalyst combines gold and platinum to form what’s known as a single-atom catalyst, resulting in nearly 100-fold increases in efficiency over market platinum catalysts, says Peng Zhang, the Dalhousie professor who led this research. A paper on... Details →


SwRI to launch 2nd phase of Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies consortium

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is launching the Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies II (AC2AT-II) consortium focusing on engine emissions solutions and innovative catalyst technologies. The AC2AT-II kickoff meeting will be 15 Nov. at SwRI’s headquarters in San Antonio and is open to interested automotive industry manufacturers. SwRI launched the... Details →


In an open-access study published in the journal Science Advances, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, along with their counterparts at Harvard University, report on the hierarchical 3D printing of nanoporous gold, a proof of concept that researchers say could revolutionize the design of chemical reactors. Combining 3D printing through... Details →


A KAIST research team has developed a fully dispersed Rh ensemble catalyst (ENS) that shows better performance at lower temperatures than commercial diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC). This newly developed ENSs could improve low-temperature automobile exhaust treatment. Precious metals have been used for various heterogeneous reactions, but it is crucial to... Details →


University of Louisville researchers working on new HER catalysts for water-splitting; $1M from NSF, DOE

Researchers at the University of Louisville are developing new catalyst materials for the hydrogen evolution reaction in water splitting, where the bond between hydrogen (H2) and oxygen is released. The current catalyst used in electrolyzers for the production of H2 from water is platinum, which is very expensive. This research... Details →


EU FASTCARD project developed liquefaction & gasification routes to biomass-based fuels; rational nanocatalytic processes

Biomass is far more complex than conventional feedstock and the development of the necessary catalysts is traditionally a lengthy and complicated process. For Europe to meet its long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % by 2050, cost-effective biomass conversion to fuels is essential. The EU-funded FASTCARD (FAST... Details →


CARB investigation leads to nationwide recall of 500,000+ Cummins heavy-duty trucks due to defective SCR catalysts

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that 500,000 heavy-duty trucks manufactured by Cummins Inc. will be recalled due to excess emissions caused by defective catalysts. The cause of the excess emissions was purely mechanical—the faster-than-expected degradation of the catalyst—and not the product of a defeat device. The degrading catalysts... Details →


Researchers at Linköping University and Umeå University in Sweden have developed a new and efficient way to use electrocatalysis to produce hydrogen gas from water using electrodes with nanotruss structures of iron oxide. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Nano Letters. The Plasma and Coatings... Details →


Chemical engineers at Rice University and Pennsylvania State University have shown that combining machine learning and quantum chemistry can save time and expense in designing new catalysts. Their study is published in the journal Nature Catalysis. Single-atom catalysts offer high reactivity and selectivity while maximizing utilization of the expensive active... Details →


Scientists in Japan have shown that an oxyfluoride is capable of visible light-driven photocatalysis—i.e., converting solar energy to fuel energy using visible-light-absorbing semiconductor materials. The finding opens new doors for designing materials for artificial photosynthesis and solar energy research. Pb2Ti2O5.4F1.2. The inset (on the right) shows a photograph of Pb2Ti2O5.4F1.2,... Details →


Velocys partners with PQ for FT catalyst manufacturing; secures funding for UK waste-to-jet project

Velocys plc has partnered with PQ Corporation (PQ) for the supply of commercial quantities of Velocys’ proprietary microchannel Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to be used in multiple biorefineries incorporating its technology. PQ is a leading global provider of specialty catalysts, services, materials and chemicals for the refinery, emissions control and petrochemical industries.... Details →


DOE awards $1M+ to pH Matter for continued development of COR-Cat high activity catalyst for fuel cells

pH Matter, a developer of new materials for electrochemical applications, with particular expertise in synthetic carbon materials for fuel cells, batteries, and electrolysis, has been awarded more than $1 million in funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the continued development of its COR-Cat high-activity catalyst materials for... Details →


Researchers at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil have produced biohydrocarbons in the distillation ranges of gasoline, diesel and aviation kerosene from palm kernel oil and palm olein using beta zeolite (HBeta) under relatively mild process conditions. Deoxygenation, cracking and isomerization over HBeta were conducted in single step, without... Details →


DOE awards U of Houston-led team $2M to develop new “four-way catalyst” to eliminate unreacted methane in natural gas vehicles; leveraging CDTi Spinel

The US Department of Energy has chosen a team led by a chemical engineer from the University of Houston for a $2-million project to develop and optimize a lower-cost, more efficient catalyst to eliminate unreacted methane in natural gas fuel. Primarily made up of methane, natural gas is a cleaner... Details →


A team led by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan has fabricated non-noble-metal electrodes for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) for electrochemical water splitting using a bicontinuous and open porous NiMo alloy covered by nitrogen-doped (N-doped) graphene with nanometer-sized holes. This noble-metal-free HER catalyst exhibits performance almost identical... Details →


Brown team develops new model for effect on strain on catalyst performance; potential to optimize catalysts for different reactions

Research in recent years has shown that applying a strain to metal catalysts—either compression or tension—can in some cases change the way they perform. Now, Brown University researchers have developed a new model to explain why stretching or compressing metal catalysts can make them perform better. The theory, described in... Details →


New catalyst for chemocatalytic production of ethanol from cellulose enhances selectivity

Researchers from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China have developed a new catalyst with enhanced selectivity for a chemocatalytic approach they developed earlier for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In the original process, cellulose is first converted into methyl glycolate (MG) in methanol with the promotion of a... Details →


Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new approach for creating new catalysts to aid in clean energy conversion and storage. The design method, reported in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) also has the potential to impact the discovery of new optical and... Details →


Notre Dame team develops plasma-enabled catalysis for ammonia production at milder conditions at smaller scale

The Haber-Bosch process developed in the early 1900s relies on non-renewable fossil fuels and large, centralized chemical plants for the large-scale synthesis of ammonia at elevated temperatures (~700 K) and pressures (~100atm). Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have now developed a sustainable low-temperature and -pressure ammonia synthesis process... Details →


New photocatalyst for the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol with high selectivity at atmospheric pressure

Researchers from Soochow University in China and the University of Toronto have developed a new photocatalyst for the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol with 50% selectivity under simulated solar irradiation. A paper on their work appears in the journal Joule. The solar methanol production of the defect-laden indium oxide, In2O3-x(OH)y,... Details →


Catalytic converters for cleaning exhaust emissions are more efficient when they use nanoparticles with many edges, according to a study carried out at the the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), a research center of the Helmholtz Association, X-ray source PETRA III. A team of scientists from the DESY NanoLab watched live as... Details →


Researchers at Georgia Tech, with colleagues in China and Saudi Arabia, have developed a rationally designed, multi-phase catalyst that significantly enhances the kinetics of oxygen reduction of the state-of-the-art solid oxide fuel cell cathode. The catalyst is also readily applicable to other energy storage and conversion systems, including metal-air batteries,... Details →


Researchers show that single Pt atoms can perform CO oxidation at low temperatures; implications for catalytic converters

Researchers from Washington State University and Tufts University have “unambiguously” shown for the first time that individual Pt atoms on a well-defined Cu2O film are able to perform CO oxidation (i.e., converting CO to CO2)—a chemical reaction that is commonly used in catalytic converters to remove CO from car exhaust—at... Details →


Researchers develop efficient single-atom Ni catalyst for conversion of CO2 to CO

An international research team has developed a new single-atom electrocatalyst that efficiently converts CO2 to carbon monoxide (CO). Their findings were published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science. They used Ni single atoms dispersed into graphene nanosheets, without Ni nanoparticles involved, as active sites for the electrocatalytic CO2... Details →


DGIST, PNNL team develops efficient, low-cost anode material for water electrolysis

Researchers at S. Korea’s DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology), with colleagues at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), have developed a low-cost, highly efficient and ultra-durable core-shell nanostructured electrocatalyst that exhibits an improved oxygen evolution activity and stability compared to that of the commercial noble metal electrodes. They... Details →


Researchers at Washington State University, with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have combined inexpensive nickel and iron in a very simple, five-minute process to create large amounts of a high-quality catalyst required for water splitting. By in situ reduction of the metal precursors, the researchers... Details →


Researchers at the University of Twente’s MESA+ research institute have made significant efficiency improvements to the technology used to generate solar fuels. They fabricated a highly efficient photocathode by spatially and functionally decoupling light absorption and catalytic activity. As reported in a paper in the journal Nature Energy, their silicon... Details →


Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, with colleagues at Stanford have developed a general approach for the production of inexpensive, efficient and durable catalysts for PEM fuel cells: 1D porous nitrogen-doped graphitic carbon fibers embedded with active oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst components (M/MOx, i.e., metal or metal oxide... Details →


A low-cost, nanostructured composite material developed by researchers at UC Santa Cruz has shown performance comparable to Pt/C as a catalyst for the electrochemical splitting of water to produce hydrogen. An efficient, low-cost catalyst is essential for realizing the promise of hydrogen as a clean, environmentally friendly fuel. Researchers led... Details →


Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, with colleagues at Purdue and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), have plated a one nanometer thick coating of platinum on a core of cobalt to create a cost-effective and highly efficient fuel cell catalyst. A paper on their work was published last year in the... Details →


Rice researchers show how to optimize nanomaterials as replacements for platinum in fuel-cell cathodes

Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes or modified graphene nanoribbons may be suitable replacements for platinum for fast oxygen reduction, the key reaction in fuel cells that transform chemical energy into electricity, according to Rice University researchers. The findings are from computer simulations by Rice scientists who set out to see how carbon... Details →


Researchers develop effective exhaust catalyst for lower temperature exhaust

To improve fuel efficiency, advanced combustion engines are being designed to minimize the amount of waste heat in the exhaust. As a result, future generations of exhaust after-treatment catalysts must perform at temperatures that are 100 °C lower than current catalysts. Researchers at Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory... Details →


Scientists develop method for direct conversion of methane to methanol or acetic acid under mild conditions

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, Tufts University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have shown that mononuclear rhodium species, anchored on a zeolite or titanium dioxide support suspended in aqueous solution, can catalyze the direct conversion of methane to methanol and acetic acid using oxygen and carbon monoxide under mild conditions.... Details →


A team led by researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and the University of California, Merced has developed an efficient molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) catalyst for driving the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In a study published in the journal Advanced Materials, the team reports that metastable and temperature-sensitive chemically exfoliated MoS2 (ce-MoS2)... Details →


WVU, NETL partner with Pitt, Shell to develop process to transform stranded natural gas into marketable products

Researchers at West Virginia University will lead a team that will investigate ways to convert stranded gas resources into value-added liquid products that could reduce the United States’ demand for crude oil by up to 20%. The WVU-led team will combine the capabilities of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)... Details →


New nanostructured earth abundant metal catalysts rival platinum on a weight basis; diesel emissions treatment

A development in catalysis research by academics at the Universities of St Andrews and Newcastle could lead to new systems to treat diesel emissions. Catalysts are typically metallic nanoparticles—often platinum group metals—that are finely deposited upon a substrate. The activity and durability of the catalyst critically depends upon the interaction... Details →


DOE proposes $99M for Energy Frontier Research Centers in FY 2018

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a proposed $99 million in Fiscal Year 2018 funding for Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to accelerate transformative scientific advances for the most challenging topics in materials sciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, and biosciences. (DE-FOA-0001810) Since their establishment by DOE’s Office of Science in... Details →


Gevo, Los Alamos to collaborate to develop high-energy-density renewable missle fuel

Gevo, Inc. will be partnering with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) on a project to improve the energy density of certain Gevo hydrocarbon products, such as its alcohol-to-jet-fuel (ATJ) (earlier post), to meet product specifications for tactical fuels for specialized military applications such as RJ-4 (exo-dime- thyltetrahydrodicylopentadienes), RJ-6 (a blend... Details →


New hybrid photocatalyst for highly efficient hydrogen production from water

Researchers at the University of Central Florida, with colleagues at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Tsinghua University, developed a new hybrid nanomaterial—a nonmetal plasmonic [email protected] heterostructure—for highly efficient photocatalytic H2 generation from water. As reported in an open access paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the... Details →


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