Chemists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new machine-learning (ML) framework that can zero in on which steps of a multistep chemical conversion should be tweaked to improve productivity. The approach could help guide the design of catalysts — chemical “dealmakers” that speed up reactions.
Morris Bullock has led PNNL’s pursuit of the efficient conversion of electrical energy and chemical bonds through control of electron and proton transfers.
UPTON, NY — Chemists have been searching for efficient catalysts to convert methane — a major component of abundant natural gas — into methanol, an easily transported liquid fuel and building block for making other valuable chemicals. Adding water to the reaction can address certain challenges, but it also complicates the process.
Fundamental research conducted at the $90-million research facility will help the nation meet its clean energy goals.
An international collaboration of scientists has taken a significant step toward the realization of a nearly “green” zero-net-carbon technology that will efficiently convert carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, and hydrogen into ethanol, which is useful as a fuel and has many other chemical applications.
Engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago have created a solar-powered electrochemical reaction that not only uses wastewater to make ammonia — the second most-produced chemical in the world — but also achieves a solar-to-fuel efficiency that is 10 times better than any other comparable technology.
Anchoring individual iridium atoms on the surface of a catalyst made them a lot better at splitting water – a reaction that’s been a bottleneck in making sustainable energy production more competitive.
A discovery from PNNL and Washington State University could help reduce the amount of expensive material needed to treat vehicle exhaust by making the most of every precious atom.
Scientists at Stanford and SLAC made a new catalyst that works with either heat or electricity to accelerate a reaction for turning carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide. It’s an important step toward unifying the understanding of catalytic reactions in these two very different conditions.
A new report led by PNNL identifies the top 13 most promising waste- and biomass-derived diesel blendstocks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, other pollutants, and overall system costs.
Bojana Ginovska leads a physical biosciences research team headed for PNNL’s new Energy Sciences Center. She uses the transformative power of molecular catalysis and enzymes to explore scientific principles.
Computational results clarify the role water plays in the reactivity of a widely used class of porous oxide catalysts.
Physical chemist Marcel Baer brings meticulous care to understanding how energy moves through molecules.
Transitioning to a hydrogen economy will require massive production of cheap, clean hydrogen gas for fuel and chemical feedstocks. New tools allow scientists to zoom in on a catalytic reaction that’s been a bottleneck in efforts to generate hydrogen from water more efficiently.
With quantum chemistry, PNNL scientists are discovering how enzymes such as nitrogenase serve as natural catalysts that efficiently break apart molecular bonds to control energy and matter.
Argonne chemist Max Delferro’s research focuses on chemical recycling and upcycling of plastic that would mitigate global plastic pollution. He leads a team that developed several new methods for converting discarded plastics into higher quality commodities such as lubricant oils…
Stepping into their superhero gear, Argonne scientists are using science and the world’s best technology to combat some of Earth’s toughest foes, from pollution to climate change.
Computational chemist Samantha Johnson, who is searching for combinations to bolster energy future, is among the PNNL scientists preparing to move into the Energy Sciences Center. The new $90 million, 140,000-square-foot facility, is under construction on the PNNL campus and will accelerate innovation in energy research using chemistry, materials science, and quantum information sciences to support the nation’s climate and clean energy research agenda.
Neutron scattering has unveiled new insights into the performance of a novel metal catalyst used to convert nitrogen into ammonia. The key discovery is that the hydrogen atoms on the surface of the material—not caged inside the catalyst—play the most significant role in the ammonia synthesis. The material catalyzes ammonia synthesis with significantly less energy than the traditional iron-based catalysts.
A large-scale demonstration converting biocrude to renewable diesel fuel has passed a significant test, operating for more than 2,000 hours continuously without losing effectiveness.
Paul Dauenhauer leads a group that has developed a new catalytic reactor that permits investigation of the precise energetics of biopolymer deconstruction. Key transitions in non-food biomass activation can now be observed, with implications for fuels, chemicals, and materials synthesis.
PNNL, teaming with academia and industry, develops a novel zero-emission methane pyrolysis process that produces both hydrogen and high-value carbon solids.
In a collaborative effort to “recover, recycle and reuse,” Argonne strengthens research that addresses pollution, greenhouse gases and climate change and aligns with new policies for carbon emission reduction.
Scientists have discovered that physically confined spaces can make for more efficient chemical reactions.
As he prepares to enter PNNL’s Energy Sciences Center later this year, Vijayakumar ‘Vijay’ Murugesan is among DOE researchers exploring solutions to design and build transformative materials for batteries of the future.
New 140,000-square-foot facility will advance fundamental chemistry and materials science for higher-performing, cost-effective catalysts and batteries, and other energy efficiency technologies.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University (SBU), and other collaborating institutions have uncovered dynamic, atomic-level details of how an important platinum-based catalyst works in the water gas shift reaction. The experiments provide definitive evidence that only certain platinum atoms play an important role in the chemical conversion, and could therefore guide the design of catalysts that use less of this precious metal.
When an LNO catalyst with a nickel-rich surface carries out a water-splitting reaction, its surface atoms rearrange from a cubic to a hexagonal pattern and its efficiency doubles. Deliberately engineering the surface to take advantage of this phenomenon offers a way to design better catalysts.
As catalysts for fuel cells, batteries and processes for carbon dioxide reduction, alloy nanoparticles that are made up of five or more elements are shown to be more stable and durable than single-element nanoparticles.
By examining tiny particles of gold with powerful X-ray beams, scientists hope they can learn how to cut down on harmful carbon monoxide emissions from motor vehicles.
A multi-institutional effort led to the design of a highly active and more durable catalyst made from cobalt, which sets the foundation for fuel cells to power transportation, stationary and backup power, and more.
A new report outlines future research paths that are needed for airlines to reduce carbon emissions and notes that the only way to achieve emission reduction goals is with Sustainable Aviation Fuels.
An artificial intelligence technique — machine learning — is helping accelerate the development of highly tunable materials known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that have important applications in chemical separations, adsorption, catalysis, and sensing.
Scientists have developed a novel catalyst that converts pure ethanol into a highly valued class of alcohols that can serve as building blocks for everything from solvents to jet fuel.
PNNL researchers are contributing expertise and hydrothermal liquefaction technology to a project that intercepts toxic algae blooms from water, treats the water, and concentrates algae for transformation to biocrude.
For the past year, three small-scale x-ray spectroscopy devices tucked away at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have begun to dramatically speed up the testing and analysis of candidate novel materials used in energy storage research and environmental remediation. They are also expected to reduce the number of expensive off-site research trips.
A team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has developed a first-of-its-kind catalyst that is able to process polyolefin plastics, types of polymers widely used in things like plastic grocery bags, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, toys, and food containers.
PNNL researchers outline how to convert stranded biomass to sustainable fuel using electrochemical reduction reactions in mini-refineries powered by renewable energy.
As part of an international collaboration, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have made a pivotal discovery that could extend the lifetime of fuel cells that power electric vehicles by eliminating the dissolution of platinum catalysts.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have discovered a metal-free carbon-based catalyst that has the potential to be much less expensive and more efficient for many industrial concerns, including manufacturing of bio- and fossil fuels, electrocatalysis, and fuel cells.
From oil refining to automobile pollution-control devices to the bulk of pharmaceuticals, platinum-group metals are the go-to choice for facilitating chemical reactions. It’s been that way for decades. But a new review article in the August 14 issue of the journal Science, led by first author Morris Bullock of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, provides a road map toward greater use of Earth-abundant metals, which would reduce cost and environmental impact.
UPTON, NY–The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $40M in funding over five years for a new research center aimed at developing hybrid photoelectrodes for converting sunlight into liquid fuels. Chemists from DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory will be key partners in this effort, dubbed the Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE), which will be led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and includes additional collaborators at Emory University, North Carolina State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.
A study identified which pairs of atoms in a catalyst nanoparticle are most active in a reaction that breaks down a harmful exhaust gas in catalytic converters. The results are a step toward engineering cheaper, more efficient catalysts.
Argonne scientists studied platinum-free catalysts for important fuel cell reactions. The research provides understanding of the mechanisms that make the catalysts effective, and it could inform production of more efficient and cost-effective catalysts.
Scientists have gained important insight into the mechanisms that drive stability and activity in materials during oxygen evolution reactions. This insight will guide the practical design of materials for electrochemical fuel production.
Scientists reveal new details that explain how a highly selective catalyst converts methane, the main component of natural gas, to methanol, an easy-to-transport liquid fuel and feedstock for making plastics, paints, and other commodity products. The findings could aid the design of even more efficient/selective catalysts to make methane conversion an economically viable and environmentally attractive alternative to venting or flaring “waste” gas.
From setting up fuel stations for the U.S. Army in Iraq to monitoring complex gas-delivery systems at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s National Synchrotron Light Source II, Christine Ali brings a wealth of experience and passion to science. Here’s her story.
A structure based on the low-cost, earth-abundant metal iron may be active enough to promote desired reactions without becoming “poisoned.”
Greener and more efficient chemical catalysts are right within our cells. Catalysts are key components of the chemical reactions that produce chemicals, biofuels and other materials. Catalysts are active in cellular processes too—certain enzymes, when connected to electrodes, can carry…
Scientists can control their branch sizes and surfaces to make them more stable and more effective catalysts. By creating branched nanoparticles from the metal ruthenium, researchers developed a way to increase the speed of catalysis while maintaining the catalyst’s stability.