How Scientists Are Accelerating Chemistry Discoveries With Automation

Researchers have developed an automated workflow that could accelerate the discovery of new pharmaceutical drugs and other useful products. The new approach could enable real-time reaction analysis and identify new chemical-reaction products much faster than current laboratory methods.

Recyclable Reagent and Sunlight Convert Carbon Monoxide into Methanol

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) have demonstrated the selective conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol using a cascade reaction strategy. The two-part process is powered by sunlight, occurs at room temperature and at ambient pressure, and employs a recyclable organic reagent that’s similar to a catalyst found in natural photosynthesis.

New catalyst could dramatically cut methane pollution from millions of engines

Today’s catalysts for removing unburnt methane from natural-gas engine emissions are either inefficient at low, start-up temperatures or break down at higher operating temperatures. A new single-atom catalyst solves both these problems and removes 90% of the methane.

Chemists Unravel Reaction Mechanism for Clean Energy Catalyst

Chemists at the University of Kansas and Brookhaven National Laboratory have unraveled the entire reaction mechanism for a key class of water-splitting catalysts. Their work could help pure hydrogen be produced from renewable energy sources such as solar power.

Scientists Use Peroxide to Peer into Metal Oxide Reactions

Researchers at Binghamton University led research partnering with the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory—to get a better look at how peroxides on the surface of copper oxide promote the oxidation of hydrogen but inhibit the oxidation of carbon monoxide, allowing them to steer oxidation reactions.

What can we do about all the plastic waste?

The Institute for the Cooperative Upcycling of Plastics (iCOUP) is helping to address the plastic waste accumulation problem by developing the science needed to turn used plastic into valuable materials.

Machine learning model speeds up assessing catalysts for decarbonization technology from months to milliseconds

Argonne researchers have developed an artificial intelligence-based model to greatly speed up the process for engineering a low-cost catalyst that converts biomass into fuels and useful chemicals with many possible applications.

Three Argonne researchers inducted into AAAS

John Mitchell, Valerie Taylor and Lisa Utschig were selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to be inducted as fellows.

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.