Dry reforming of methane (DRM) is one promising approach to converting methane and carbon dioxide into chemical feedstock or syngas. However, DRM needs a stable and highly active catalyst for its commercialization. Metal-supported zeolites are widely used for this purpose, due to their microporous structure and chemical stability. In particular,... Read more →

Haldor Topsoe signs €45M funding deal with EIB to drive green energy transition

In line with its strategy to become the global leader in carbon emission reduction technologies by 2024, Danish technology provider Haldor Topsoe has signed a €45-million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support its R&D investments in that domain. The EIB financing is supported under the European... Read more →

BASF to carve out mobile emissions catalysts business, invest up to €4.5B in battery materials and recycling

With the shift toward electromobility, the automotive industry is currently in the middle of its biggest transformation in history. As the largest chemicals supplier to the automotive industry, BASF will further strengthen its focus on battery materials and recycling and will establish a separate mobile emissions catalysts, automotive catalysts recycling... Read more →

Researchers at the at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung) report the mechanocatalytic synthesis of ammonia over a cesium-promoted iron catalyst under mild conditions—room temperature and pressures down to 1 bar. Ammonia synthesis via the Haber-Bosch process normally requires temperatures of 400-500 °C and pressures of... Read more →

Researchers advance direct ethanol fuel cells

Researchers in the US and China have developed a catalyst that solves three key problems long associated with direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs): low efficiency, the cost of catalytic materials and the toxicity of chemical reactions inside the cells. The team from the University of Central Florida, Oregon State University,... Read more →

A team of researchers from the US NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers based at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities has demonstrated the use of a dual cellular–heterogeneous catalytic strategy to produce olefins from glucose. Wang et al. These renewable liquids could serve as a more sustainable replacement for today’s... Read more →

A combined experimental and computational study published in Nature Catalysis shows promising results for a new class of catalysts producing ammonia under mild conditions. The production of ammonia amounts to about 200 megatons per year. This makes it the second-most produced chemical in the world, surpassed only by sulfuric acid.... Read more →

A promising route for turning CO2 emissions into a fuel feedstock is the process of electrochemical reduction (e.g., earlier post). However, to be commercially viable, the process needs to be improved to yield a higher amount of desirable carbon-rich products. Now, as reported in the journal Nature Energy, researchers at... Read more →

A research team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has identified a new way to convert ammonia to nitrogen gas through a process that could be a step toward ammonia replacing carbon-based fuels. The discovery of this technique, which uses a metal catalyst and releases—rather than requires—energy, was reported in Nature... Read more →

Honeywell and ZoneFlow Reactor Technologies (ZFRT) announced a joint agreement to commercialize ZoneFlow Reactor Technology. This technology promises to provide a step-change improvement in the efficiency and carbon intensity of steam methane reforming for the production of hydrogen. When coupled with Honeywell H2 Solutions’ carbon capture for hydrogen production, the... Read more →

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a carbon-supported platinum nanoparticle catalyst that can achieve complete hydrocracking of polypropylene into liquid hydrocarbons (C5–C45). With tuning, the catalyst can achieve a selectivity of 80% toward motor oil (C21–C45). A paper on their work is published... Read more →

New PEM fuel cell catalyst can oxidize CO, H2 or a combination; addressing the poisoning problem

Researchers in China have developed a class of IrRu-N-C catalysts, with Ir and Ru single atoms uniformly populated in nitrogen–carbon composites, that exhibits excellent CO electrooxidation reaction (COOR) behavior as well as high-efficiency single-atom catalysis toward H2 electro-oxidation. A paper on their work is published in Proceedings of the National... Read more →

Topsoe has begun production at a demonstration plant designed to validate its electrified technology for cost-competitive production of sustainable methanol from biogas as well as other sustainable products. The global annual production of methanol is around 110 million tons. With close to 1.4 ton CO2 being emitted per produced ton... Read more →

A team at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL) has developed a bifunctional catalyst for the oxygen electrode in a unitized regenerative fuel cell (URFC). A paper on their work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs) combine the functionalities of... Read more →

An international collaboration of scientists has taken a significant step toward the realization of a nearly “green” zero-net-carbon technology that can efficiently convert CO2 and hydrogen into ethanol. The study, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, lays out a roadmap for successfully navigating this challenging reaction and... Read more →

Electrolytic hydrogen production powered by renewable energy is seen as an environmentally friendly means to ameliorate global climate and energy problems. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a research team has now introduced a novel and inexpensive material for electrodes that may provide for highly efficient, energy-saving hydrogen production: porous, phosphorized... Read more →

A new way of anchoring individual iridium atoms to the surface of a catalyst significantly increased its efficiency in splitting water molecules, scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University reported in an open-access paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). …we... Read more →

Sasol and UCT researchers collaborate on the use of commercial iron catalysts to convert hydrogen and CO2 into green jet fuel and chemicals

A team of researchers from Sasol and the Catalysis Institute at the University of Cape Town (UCT) has made advancements in the use of commercial iron catalyst, produced cheaply and at large scale at Sasol’s Secunda plant, which would enable conversion of unavoidable or biogenically-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) and green... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Delaware have shown that ruthenium deposited on titania is an active and selective catalyst for breaking down polypropylene into valuable lubricant-range hydrocarbons with narrow molecular weight distribution and low methane formation at low temperatures of 250 °C with a modest H2 pressure. They were able... Read more →

SwRI, UTSA seek to combine reverse water-gas shift and Fischer Tropsch synthesis in single reactor to produce low-carbon hydrocarbon fuels

Southwest Research Institute and The University of Texas at San Antonio (USTA) are collaborating to combine two catalytic processes into a single reactor, with the overall goal of recycling carbon from CO2 to produce low-cost hydrocarbon fuels. The work, led by Dr. Grant Seuser of SwRI’s Powertrain Engineering Division and... Read more →

Hyundai makes Series B investment in hydrogen and fuel cell catalyst maker Pajarito Powder

US-based startup Pajarito Powder has received a Series-B investment from Hyundai Motor Company. The investment is intended to allow Hyundai Motor to expand its portfolio in the value chain of the hydrogen industry and strengthen the establishment of the hydrogen ecosystem. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Pajarito Powder develops and... Read more →

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new catalyst for converting ethanol into C3+ olefins—the chemical building blocks for renewable jet fuel and diesel—that pushes selectivity to a record-high 88%, a more than 10% gain over their previously developed catalyst. (Earlier post.) A paper on the new work is... Read more →

Haldor Topsoe and Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum have formed a joint venture with the aim of delivering locally produced MK-151+ methanol synthesis catalysts to the Chinese market. The joint venture will secure fast delivery to local customers, who demand high-performance catalysts for energy-efficient methanol production. The mechanical strength of methanol synthesis... Read more →

An international team led by chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian Wang of Rice’s Brown School of Engineering and Yongfeng Hu of Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada has assembled what they say may transform chemical catalysis by greatly increasing the number of transition-metal single atoms that can... Read more →

Origin Materials launched its Net Zero Automotive Program with Ford Motor Company. The Net Zero Automotive Program is a sustainable automotive supply chain initiative focused on industrializing new materials to drive decarbonization in the automotive industry. Origin Materials has developed technology which turns sustainable wood residues into cost-advantaged, carbon-negative materials... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are developing new computational tools and models to better understand and manage the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells. Hendrik Heinz, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, is leading the effort in partnership with the University of... Read more →

The well-established, cost-competitive ethanol market provides an opportunity to shift the composition of jet fuel and other fuel products away from petroleum. In the first step of a multi-step ethanol-to-jet-fuel process earlier developed by DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL’s), a catalyst is used to convert ethanol into butene-rich C3+... Read more →

Johnson Matthey and Plug Power partner on next-generation electrolyzer technology for green hydrogen

Johnson Matthey has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Plug Power. Under the MoU, the companies will develop a roadmap to accelerate the joint development of high-performance electrolyzer technology with improved durability, increased performance, and greater energy efficiency than systems available today. The collaboration will focus on the development, validation... Read more →

New iron catalyst helps preferentially reduce NO to hydroxylamine; pollution control and clean energy

Researchers from Korea and France have shown that iron–nitrogen-doped carbon is an efficient and durable electrocatalyst for selective nitric oxide reduction into hydroxylamine. An open-access paper on the work is published in Nature Communications. Among the major pollutants, nitrogen oxide (NOx) accumulation can cause severe respiratory diseases and imbalance in... Read more →

BASF to increase capacity to recycle precious metals from spent catalysts; TWCs from autos

BASF is expanding its Seneca, South Carolina Platinum Group Metals (PGM) refining facility. The company will invest double-digit millions in capital improvements to increase refining capacity to recycle precious metals from spent catalysts such as automotive catalytic converters. Recycled metal has as much as 90% lower CO2 emissions than metal... Read more →

Arbios Biotech, a joint venture between Licella and Canfor (earlier post), and Shell Catalysts & Technologies (SC&T), have formed a new global alliance aimed at utilizing SC&T’s upgrading technology capability in the pursuit of a low-carbon intensity, circular-economy-focused biorefinery. Arbios Biotech was formed to commercialize Licella’s Cat-HTR platform, a globally... Read more →

Umicore and Anglo American, through its PGMs business Anglo American Platinum, announced a research and development collaboration agreement to develop platinum group metal PGM-based catalysts for liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) applications on fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and other mobile applications. This catalyst technology has the potential to transform... Read more →

Aemetis, Inc. has selected Axens Vegan Renewable Hydroprocessing technology for its “Carbon Zero 1” production plant in Riverbank, California. Axens Vegan technology is designed to hydrotreat a wide range of lipids and to produce a flexible slate of low-density and high cetane renewable diesel as well as renewable jet fuel.... Read more →

Unifrax introduces new nano-structured alumina catalyst support technology for a greener catalytic conversion option: Eco-lytic

Unifrax, a leading manufacturer of high-performance specialty materials, introduced a new, nano-structured alumina catalyst support technology for the transportation market: Eco-lytic. Housed within a vehicle’s catalytic converter, the Eco-lytic catalyst support fiber is designed to replace the existing catalytic converter or add to existing systems in order to enhance emission... Read more →

Ammonia has recently emerged as a liquid storage and transport medium that has shown promising stability for long-distance hydrogen transport. At 108 kg H2/m3, liquefied ammonia (NH3) can store 50% more hydrogen than liquid hydrogen. When ammonia is decomposed at high temperatures, only hydrogen and nitrogen gases are produced, with... Read more →

Stable boron-copper catalyst for CO2 conversion; stabilization with zinc

A new boron-copper catalyst for the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into chemicals or fuels has been developed by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of Duisburg-Essen. They optimized already available copper catalysts to improve their selectivity and long-term stability. The results are described by the team led by... Read more →

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. Scientists and engineers led by the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conducted the research to show that the process is robust enough... Read more →

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and West Virginia University (WVU), in collaboration with industry partners Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and C4-MCP, have developed a novel bi-metallic catalyst for the thermocatalytic decomposition of methane (TCD)—a promising approach for producing hydrogen without CO2 emissions along with a solid carbon... Read more →

Researchers from Sun-Yat Sen University in China report in an open-access paper in ACS ES&T Engineering the development of a catalyst that destroys medications and other compounds already present in wastewater to generate hydrogen fuel, getting rid of a contaminant while producing something useful. Herein, we are aiming to construct... Read more →

A team led by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have discovered a new bimetallic electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in electrochemical water splitting: CaFe2O4. This inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy-to-synthesize material outperforms other bimetallic OER electrocatalysts and even surpasses the benchmark set by iridium oxide, paving... Read more →

PSI and Empa launch $6.9M SynFuels project to produce kerosene from CO2 and hydrogen

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and partner institute Empa have started a joint research initiative called SynFuels. The goal is to develop a process for producing kerosene from carbond dioxide and green hydrogen. Over the next three years, the two Swiss research institutes will jointly search for practical... Read more →

A team of researchers led by Zhifeng Ren, director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, has developed an oxygen-evolving catalyst that takes just minutes to grow at room temperature on commercially available nickel foam. Paired with a previously reported hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst, it can... Read more →

Researchers provide insight into OER electrocatalyst

Researchers from Oregon State University College of Engineering, with colleagues from Cornell University and the Argonne National Laboratory, have used advanced experimental tools to provide a clearer understanding of an electrochemical catalytic process that’s cleaner and more sustainable than deriving hydrogen from natural gas. Their findings are published in an... Read more →

Researchers in China led by a team from Fudan University have demonstrated the electrochemical reduction of CO2 toward C2+ alcohols with a faradaic efficiency of ~70% using copper (Cu) catalysts with stepped sites. In a paper published in the journal Joule, they suggest that the results show great potential for... Read more →

Mass spectrometer enhances SwRI’s USGR automotive catalyst testing

Southwest Research Institute has expanded its capability to evaluate internal combustion engine aftertreatment catalysts, integrating an existing SwRI technology with a mass spectrometer. A mass spectrometer identifies a molecule by analyzing its mass-to-charge ratio, detecting chemicals invisible to other instruments. Researchers added the mass spectrometer to SwRI’s Universal Synthetic Gas... Read more →

Earth-abundant electrocatalysts for the reduction of CO2 to CO

A team led by researchers form Temple University has developed earth-abundant electrocatalysts—Mo2C and Ti3C2 MXenes—for the electroreduction of CO2 to CO. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal ChemComm, the researchers report that Mo2C and Ti3C2 exhibited Faradaic efficiencies of 90% (250 mV overpotential) and 65% (650 mV overpotential),... Read more →

A team led by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Molecular Foundry has designed and synthesized ultrasmall nickel nanoclusters (∼1.5 nm) deposited on defect-rich BN nanosheet (Ni/BN) catalysts with excellent methanol dehydrogenation activity and selectivity. In an open-access paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a method to convert CO2 directly into aviation fuel using a novel, inexpensive iron-based catalyst. The catalyst shows a carbon dioxide conversion through hydrogenation to hydrocarbons in the aviation jet fuel range of 38.2%, with a yield of 17.2%, and a selectivity... Read more →

A multi-institutional research team led by materials scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has designed a highly active and durable catalyst that doesn’t rely on costly platinum group metals (PGM) to spur the necessary chemical reaction. The new catalyst contains cobalt interspersed with nitrogen and carbon. When compared to... Read more →

Conventional water electrolysis for the production of hydrogen faces technological challenges to improve the efficiency of the water-splitting reaction for the sluggish oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Noble metal-based ruthenium oxide (RuO2) and iridium oxide (IrO2) are used to enhance the oxygen generation rate. However, these noble metal catalysts are very... Read more →