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 →

PNNL team develops catalyst to convert ethanol into C5+ ketones as building blocks for high-value chemicals and fuels

Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a novel Pd‐promoted ZnO‐ZrO2 catalyst that converts ethanol into C5+ ketones that can serve as building blocks for everything from solvents to jet fuel. A paper on the work is published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The catalyst developed at PNNL... Read more →

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have demonstrated that noble metal atoms may assemble to form clusters under certain conditions. These clusters are more reactive than the single atoms and, hence, exhaust gases can be much better removed. The results are reported in Nature Catalysis. Noble metal catalysts... Read more →

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that Dr. Kyung-Joong Yoon and Researcher Ji-Su Shin from the Center for Energy Materials Research, together with Professor Yun -Jung Lee from Hanyang University (Hanyang University, President Woo-Seung Kim), have developed a single-atom Pt catalyst that can be used for SOFCs.... Read more →

Vehicles powered by polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are energy-efficient and eco-friendly, but despite increasing public interest in PEMFC-powered transportation, current performance of materials that are used in fuel cells limits their widespread commercialization. Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory led a team to... Read more →

Researchers at KAUST have discovered that a form of iron oxide—Fe2O3—makes an excellent co-catalyst for a promising photocatalytic material called gallium nitride for the production f hydrogen. An open-access paper on their work appears in Scientific Reports. Finding photocatalysts that can efficiently use sunlight to produce clean hydrogen fuel from... Read more →

An international team led by Professor Matthias Arenz from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (DCB) at the University of Bern has succeeded in using a special process to produce a fuel cell electrocatalyst without a carbon carrier, which, unlike existing catalysts, consists of a thin metal network and is... Read more →

A team of Brown University researchers has fine-tuned a copper catalyst to produce complex hydrocarbons—C2+ products—from CO2 with high efficiency. An open-access paper on the work is published in Nature Communications. The electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR), driven by renewable energy, is a promising strategy to reduce CO2 accumulation. By... Read more →

Photoelectrical chemical cells (PECs) have the potential to produce hydrogen fuel through artificial photosynthesis, an emerging renewable energy technology that uses energy from sunlight to drive chemical reactions such as splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. The key to a PEC’s success lies not only in how well its photoelectrode... Read more →

Inspired by naturally occurring processes, a team of Boston College chemists used a multi-catalyst system to convert carbon dioxide to methanol at the lowest temperatures reported with high activity and selectivity. A paper on the work is published in the journal Chem. Methanol is a promising renewable fuel that can... Read more →

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and University College London (UCL) have produced graphene via a special, scalable technique and used it to develop hydrogen fuel cell catalysts. In an open-access paper published in the RSC journal Nanoscale, the researchers report that this new type of graphene-based catalyst was... Read more →

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Caltech have found that copper that was once bound with oxygen is better at converting carbon dioxide into renewable fuels than copper that was never bound to oxygen. For their study, published in the journal ACS Catalysis, the scientists performed X-ray... Read more →

Using X-rays from a synchrotron particle accelerator, scientists of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now been able to observe for the first time a catalyst during the Fischer-Tropsch reaction that facilitates the production of synthetic fuels under industrial conditions. The researchers intended to use the test results for... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Oregon have advanced the effectiveness of the catalytic water dissociation reaction in bipolar membranes. The work, published in the journal Science, provides a roadmap to realize electrochemical devices that benefit from the key property of bipolar membranes operation—to generate the protons and hydroxide ions inside... Read more →

Scientists from Kyushu University and Kumamoto University in Japan have developed a new catalyst capable of assisting three key reactions for using hydrogen in energy and industry. Inspired by three types of enzymes in nature, this research can help elucidate unknown relationships among catalysts, paving the way for efficient use... Read more →

Researchers led by a team at Washington State University (WSU) have developed a unique and inexpensive nanoparticle catalyst that allows a solid-oxide fuel cell to convert logistic liquid fuels such as gasoline to electricity without stalling out during the electrochemical process. The research, featured in the journal Applied Catalysis B:... Read more →

A team comprising scientists who specialize in structure materials at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has developed a high-performance electrocatalyst based on an innovative concept originally for developing alloys. The new electrocatalyst can be produced at large scale and low cost, providing a new paradigm in a wide application... Read more →

Ruthenium dioxide is widely used in industrial processes, in which it’s particularly important for catalyzing the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) that splits molecules of water and releases oxygen. However, the exact mechanism that takes place on this material’s surface, and how that reaction is affected by the orientation of the... Read more →

Professor Yutaka Amao of the Osaka City University Artificial Photosynthesis Research Center and Ryohei Sato, a 1st year Ph.D. student of the Graduate School of Science, have shown that the catalyst formate dehydrogenase reduces carbon dioxide directly to formic acid. Their work, published in a paper in the RSC’s New... Read more →

NUS scientists have discovered a new mechanism for selective electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to ethanol using copper-silver (Cu-Ag) composite catalysts. A paper on their work is published in the journal ACS Catalysis. Credit: ACS Catalysis The electrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels and chemicals, when powered by renewable electricity,... Read more →

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed an improved catalyst for the synthesis of ammonia by taking the common dehydrating agent calcium hydride and adding fluoride to it. The catalyst facilitates the synthesis of ammonia at merely 50 °C, with an extremely small activation energy of 20... Read more →

Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and the University of Delaware have developed a catalytic strategy to promote the selective breaking of a carbon-oxygen bond—an essential step the conversion of lignocellulsoic biomass via hydrodeoxygenation to fuels and chemicals. To demonstrate their principle, the team created a catalyst with highly dispersed... Read more →

Researchers from the Technische Universität Dresden, with colleagues from Jiangnan University and Wenzhou University in China, have developed various noble metal aerogels (NMAs), with unprecedented potential for diverse pH-universal electrochemical catalysis, including oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), and electrochemical water splitting. These findings largely span the application... Read more →

Griffith researchers enhance catalytic activity for water splitting

In an open-acess paper published in Nature Communications, Griffith University (Australia) researchers report having enhanced the catalytic activity of CoSe2 for oxygen evolution in water splitting by incorporating both Fe dopants and Co vacancies into atomically thin CoSe2 nanobelts. CoSe2 nanobelts are ultrathin sheets made out of a lattice of... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Southampton have transformed optical fibers into photocatalytic microreactors that convert water into hydrogen fuel using solar energy. The technology combines, for the first time, microstructured optical fiber technology with photocatalysis, creating a photocatalytic microreactor coated with TiO2, decorated with palladium nanoparticles. The microstructured optical fiber... Read more →

Researchers at Aalto University (Finland), with colleagues at the University of Vienna (Austria), CNRS (France) and Nikolaev Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (Russia), have developed a highly graphitized graphene nanoflake (GF)–carbon nanotube (CNT) hybrid catalyst doped simultaneously with single atoms of N, Co, and Mo (N-Co-Mo-GF/CNT). This high surface area material... Read more →

BASF launched Fourtune—a new Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst product for gasoil feedstock. Fourtune is the latest product based on BASF’s Multiple Framework Topology (MFT) technology. It has been optimized to deliver superior butylene over propylene selectivity while maintaining catalyst activity and performance. MFT technology decouples catalyst acid site density... Read more →

BASF has successfully developed and tested an innovative Tri-Metal Catalyst technology that enables partial substitution of high-priced palladium with lower-priced platinum in light-duty gasoline vehicles without compromising emissions standards. Adoption of the Tri-Metal Catalyst can reduce catalytic converter costs for automakers and partially rebalance market demand for PGMs (platinum-group metals),... Read more →

Researchers from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a photocatalyst for the selective decarboxylation of fatty acids to produce diesel- and jet-range molecules under mild conditions (30 °C, H2 pressure ≤0.2 MPa). A photocatalytic decarboxylation strategy for the production of alkanes from... Read more →

By investing in R&D and performing fundamental studies of the different carrier systems and their properties, Topsoe has developed a new and more robust carrier system. This system forms the basis for the new TITAN series of steam reforming catalysts. The series, launched earlier this month at the Nitrogen+Syngas Conference... Read more →

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have demonstrated the first visible-light photoelectrochemical system for water splitting using TiO2 enhanced with cobalt. The proposed approach is simple and represents a stepping stone in the quest to achieve affordable water splitting to produce hydrogen. A study on their work is... Read more →

Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, collaborating with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), have developed a mild and scalable synthesis route for a molybdenum carbide nanoparticle that can convert CO2 into fuel. The particles can be produced at an industrial scale at a... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Michigan, McGill University and McMaster University have developed a binary copper−iron catalyst for photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction toward methane. The work, presented in a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), offers a unique, highly efficient, and inexpensive route for solar fuels synthesis.... Read more →

Researchers have created a plasmonic photocatalyst consisting of a Cu nanoparticle antenna with single-Ru atomic reactor sites on the nanoparticle surface that proves ideal for low-temperature, light-driven methane dry reforming—one pathway for the production of syngas. Researchers from Rice, UCLA and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), describe the... Read more →

Scientists have long known that platinum is by far the best catalyst for splitting water molecules to produce hydrogen gas. A new study by Brown University researchers shows why the precious metal works so well—and it’s not the reason that’s been assumed. Platinum’s high activity has conventionally been explained by... Read more →

A team of researchers in Australia has developed a Janus nanoparticle catalyst with a nickel–iron oxide interface and multi-site functionality for a highly efficient hydrogen evolution reaction with a comparable performance to the benchmark platinum on carbon catalyst. (Janus particles feature surfaces with two or more distinct properties.) An open-access... Read more →

Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a low-temperature catalyst for removing NOx gas from industrial exhaust using ammonia. Composed of bulk “defective” vanadium oxide instead of vanadium oxides supported on titanium oxide as in commercial catalysts, the catalyst works at lower temperatures (< 150 ˚C) with much higher efficiency.... Read more →

An international team of researchers has synthesized one-dimensional bunched platinum-nickel (Pt-Ni) alloy nanocages with a Pt-skin structure for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. The nanocages display high mass activity (3.52 amperes per milligram platinum) and specific activity (5.16 milliamperes per square centimeter platinum)—nearly 17 and 14 times higher... Read more →

UH team reports new catalyst efficiently produces hydrogen from seawater; promising for large-scale hydrogen production, desalination

Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a significant breakthrough with a new oxygen evolution reaction catalyst that, combined with a hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst, achieved current densities capable of supporting industrial demands while requiring relatively low voltage to start seawater electrolysis. Researchers say the device, composed of inexpensive... Read more →

Researchers in the US have developed a catalytic upcycling process using platinum nanoparticles supported on perovskites to convert single-use polyethylene (PE) (such as grocery bags) into value-added high-quality liquid products (such as motor oils and waxes). An open-access paper on their work is published in ACS Central Science. Hundreds of... Read more →

Nouryon and Forge Nano to collaborate on ultra-thin coatings technology; ALD for batteries and catalysts

Nouryon and US-based startup Forge Nano have agreed to explore a joint collaboration in ultra-thin coatings for high-growth applications including batteries and catalysts. The technology—atomic layer deposition (ALD)—also has the potential to open up entirely new applications. The companies have complementary activities in ultra-thin coatings – Forge Nano develops precision... Read more →

Umicore opens new facility for the production of fuel cell catalysts in Korea

Umicore inaugurated its new production facility for fuel cell catalysts in SongDo Incheon City (Seoul area), Korea, close to Umicore’s technology development center for catalysts. The facility will support the growth of Hyundai Motors Group as well as other automotive customers. Umicore expects to ramp up production in 2020 and... Read more →

Researchers have developed a new catalytic method for upcycling abundant, seemingly low-value plastics (polyethylene) into high-quality liquid products, such as motor oils, lubricants, detergents and even cosmetics. The discovery also improves on current recycling methods that result in cheap, low-quality plastic products. Northwestern University, Argonne National Laboratory and Ames Laboratory... Read more →