Shell qualifies BASF Puristar and Sorbead for green hydrogen purification

BASF has worked with Shell to evaluate and de-risk BASF’s Puristar R0-20 and Sorbead Adsorption Technology for the use in green hydrogen production. The two technologies purify and dehydrate the product hydrogen stream from the water electrolysis process which can then be used for liquification and transportation, as an energy... Read more →


ExxonMobil developing methanol-to-jet SAF technology

ExxonMobil has developed a unique process technology to enable the manufacture of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from renewable methanol. This expands upon ExxonMobil’s suite of technology solutions that are engineered to manufacture SAF from other biofeeds. SAF produced from renewable methanol can play an important role in helping the aviation... Read more →


KAUST, Umicore study clarifies roles of Ce and Mn in NOx reduction catalysts

After systematically studying multiple catalyst compositions, researchers at KAUST and Umicore have clarified the role of cerium (Ce) in Mn-based oxide catalysts for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx with NH3 at temperatures below 200 °C. An open-access paper on the study appears in Nature Communications. Recent developments in... Read more →


WSU, PNNL artificial enzyme breaks down lignin

Researchers from Washington State University (WSU) and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have devised an artificial enzyme that digests lignin, which has stubbornly resisted previous attempts to develop it into an economically useful energy source. An open-access paper on their work is published in Nature Communications.... Read more →


Using a hematite photocatalyst, a team led by researchers from Kobe University has succeeded in producing both hydrogen gas and hydrogen peroxide at the same time from sunlight and water. An open-access paper on the work is published in Nature Communications. Hydrogen has gained attention as one of the possible... Read more →


BASF has launched UpCore, a new service providing a cost-effective and sustainable technology upgrade from a standard ozone converter to an ozone-VOC (volatile organic compounds) converter for cleaner and healthier aircraft cabin air. UpCore replaces the catalyst core of an ozone-only converter with an ozone-VOC catalyst, a sustainable solution as... Read more →


Researchers at the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute (CNI) and their collaborators from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) in India discovered a novel way to combine curcumin—the substance in turmeric—and gold nanoparticles to create an electrode that requires 100 times less energy to convert ethanol or methanol into... Read more →


Researchers report one-pot catalytic conversion of cellulose to methanol

Methanol—a bio-based platform molecule that can be used directly as a fuel or fuel additive, and can also be used to produce bulk chemicals and drop-in fuels—is currently mainly produced from methane and coal via an indirect syngas route. Now, a team of researchers in China reports a novel approach... Read more →


A study by a team from The Ohio State University and Ford is providing insight into the deactivation mechanism of rhodium in three-way catalysts (TWC) for automotive emissions control. The study, which could enable more efficient usage of rhodium in TWCs, is published in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials.... Read more →


Surrey team developing direct-air-capture CO2 to methanol process

Researchers at the University of Surrey (UK) are developing a process to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air and then use dynamic catalysis to create methanol—a valuable chemical that, made this way, could be carbon-negative. Its value could offset the cost of direct air capture. The carbon negative chemicals... Read more →


NTU Singapore to develop technologies to extract hydrogen from liquid organic hydrogen carriers

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is developing new technologies for the extraction of hydrogen from liquid organic hydrogen carriers, with the support of National University of Singapore (NUS) and industry collaborators in Singapore and Japan—including Chiyoda Corporation, PSA Corporation, Sembcorp Industries, City Energy, Jurong Port, Singapore LNG corporation and... Read more →


Honeywell has developed new catalyst-coated membrane (CCMs) technology for green hydrogen production and will further test the technology with electrolyzer manufacturers. Green hydrogen, which is produced using an electrolyzer powered by renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, is expected to play an important role in the energy... Read more →


A team from the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Zhengzhou University in China has demonstrated a metal-free carbocatalyst—nitrogen-assembly carbons (NCs)—for the release of hydrogen from liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs) even at ambient temperature, showing greater activity than transition metal–based catalysts. An open-access paper on their work is... Read more →


A research team in Korea has synthesized metal nanoparticles that can significantly improve the performance of hydrogen fuel cell catalysts by using the semiconductor manufacturing technology. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that the research team led by Dr. Sung Jong Yoo of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell... Read more →


The production of hydrogen by water splitting via electrolysis relies on two reactions—the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). OER and HER suffer from sluggish reactions kinetics due to high overpotentials (a measure of kinetic energy barriers). Thus, each requires highly effective catalysts—that generally use noble... Read more →


Researchers at Stanford University have shown that porous polymer encapsulation of metal-supported catalysts can drive the selectivity of CO2 conversion to hydrocarbons. Using this technique, they report orders of magnitude higher turnover frequencies for hydrocarbon formation compared to conventional catalysts. A paper on their work is published in Proceedings of... Read more →


BASF and Heraeus to form JV in China to recover PGMs from spent automotive catalysts

BASF and Heraeus have agreed to form a joint venture (BASF: 50%; Heraeus: 50%) to recover precious metals from spent automotive catalysts. The new company, named BASF HERAEUS (China) Metal Resource Co., Ltd will be set up in Pinghu, China. The founding of the legal entity is targeted in Q1... Read more →


Chemists at Cornell University have discovered a class of nonprecious metal derivatives—transition metal nitrides (TMNs)—that can catalyze the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline fuel cells about as well as platinum, at a fraction of the cost. The researchers, led by Héctor D. Abruña, the Émile M. Chamot Professor in... Read more →


Researchers from Lehigh University, in collaboration with colleagues from the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), have developed an induced activation strategy to enhance the performance of the ternary Cu/Zu/AL2O3 catalyst towards the methanol steam reforming (MSR) reaction (used as a model reaction). Cu/Zu/AL2O3 is an important industrial... Read more →


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 →