Light of transformation: Research explores the inner workings of chemical change

Binghamton University Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jennifer Hirschi recently received a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for $1.93 million from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to study the mechanisms involved in catalytic reactions.

Entrepreneurship program at Argonne National Laboratory opens applications for startups

Chain Reaction Innovations, the entrepreneurship program at Argonne National Laboratory, is accepting applications for its next fellowship cohort.

Argonne researchers win four 2022 R&D 100 awards

R&D Magazine has recognized four Argonne projects with R&D 100 Awards.

Found: The ‘holy grail of catalysis’ — turning methane into methanol under ambient conditions using light

An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the University of Manchester, has developed a fast and economical method of converting methane, or natural gas, into liquid methanol at ambient temperature and pressure. The method takes place under continuous flow over a photo-catalytic material using visible light to drive the conversion.
To help observe how the process works and how selective it is, the researchers used neutron scattering at the VISION instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source.

Converting Methane to Methanol—With and Without Water

Adding water to the catalytic reaction that converts methane into useful methanol makes the process more effective, but it creates challenges for industry due to steam from the water. Now scientists have identified a common industrial catalyst, copper-zinc oxide, that completes the conversion along different pathways depending on whether water is present or not. This could potentially keep methane, a potent greenhouse gas, out of Earth’s atmosphere and instead turn it into useful products.

Chemical Institute of Canada Gives Top Honor to University of Oklahoma Engineering Professor

The 2022 Robert B. Anderson Catalysis Award from the Chemical Institute of Canada’s Catalysis Division was presented to University of Oklahoma engineering professor Daniel Resasco, Ph.D., for his research that deepens the understanding of chemical reactions in the production of sustainable energy.

Machine Learning Framework IDs Targets for Improving Catalysts

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.

Combining sunlight and wastewater nitrate to make the world’s No. 2 chemical

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.

Scientists show a single catalyst can perform the first step of turning CO2 into fuel in two very different ways

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.

First nanoscale look at a reaction that limits the efficiency of generating clean hydrogen fuel

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.

8 Things Argonne is Doing to Save the Earth

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.

Finding What Makes Catalysts Tick

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.

Novel Catalyst Means Ammonia Synthesis with Less Heat and Pressure

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.

Argonne innovations and technology to help drive circular economy

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.

Study Reveals Platinum’s Role in Clean Fuel Conversion

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.

Study shows tweaking one layer of atoms on a catalyst’s surface can make it work better

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.

Better together: Scientists discover far-reaching applications of nanoparticles made of multiple elements

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.

A first-of-its-kind catalyst mimics natural processes to break down plastic and produce valuable new products

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.