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NSF to award up to $4.8M for catalysis research, including fuels applications

17 February 2017

The National Science Foundation will award up to $4.8 million (PD-17-1401) to research projects focused on obtaining new basic understanding of catalytic materials and reactions, utilizing synthetic, theoretical, and experimental approaches. Target applications include fuels, specialty and bulk chemicals, environmental catalysis, biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals, conversion of greenhouse gases, and generation of solar hydrogen, as well as efficient routes to energy utilization.

The main thrust of the program is heterogeneous catalysis. NSF is looking for proposals related to both gas-solid and liquid-solid heterogeneous catalysis, as well as proposals that incorporate concepts from homogeneous catalysis. Topic areas that are of particular interest include:

  • Renewable energy-related catalysis with applications in electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, and catalytic conversion of biomass-derived chemicals. Catalysis aimed at closing the carbon cycle (especially conversion of CO2, methane, and natural gas to fuels and chemical intermediates).

  • Catalytic alternatives to traditionally non-catalytic reaction processes, as well as new catalyst designs for established catalytic processes.

  • Environmental catalysis (including energy-efficient and green routes to fuels and chemicals).

  • Catalytic remediation of feedstocks, process streams, products, or effluents.

  • Commercially scalable methods of catalyst synthesis.

  • New catalytic materials and architectures (especially those substituting earth-abundant materials for precious and noble metal catalysts).

  • Basic understanding of catalytic materials, reaction pathways, kinetics, and surface mechanisms.

  • Durable, poison-resistant, and easily regenerable catalyst formulations and designs.

  • Advances in tools for catalyst characterization and theoretical/computational catalysis.

February 17, 2017 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1)


If we make renewable fuels there is less dependence on other countries who could stop trading in times of trouble.

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