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 →


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 →