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 →

Enzymes use cascade reactions to produce complex molecules from comparatively simple raw materials. An international research team has now copied this principle, and used nanoparticles to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol and propanol. The scientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany and the University of New South Wales in Australia transferred... Read more →

Films of platinum only two atoms thick supported by graphene could enable fuel cell catalysts with unprecedented catalytic activity and longevity, according to a study published recently by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with colleagues from University of Oxford, in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. This graphic shows... Read more →

Stanford/DTU team devises new effective solid-oxide electrochemical cell for CO2 electrolysis

Researchers from Stanford University and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have engineered and demonstrated a solid-oxide electrochemical cell (SOC) with a porous ceria electrode that achieves stable and selective CO2 electrolysis beyond the thermodynamic carbon deposition threshold. A paper on the work is published in Nature Energy. ow electricity... Read more →

The electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 is often carried out in a liquid electrolyte such as KHCO3(aq), which allows for ion conduction between electrodes. However, as a result, liquid products that form are in a mixture with the dissolved salts, and require energy-intensive downstream separation. Now a team led by researchers... Read more →

Syzygy Plasmonics, a technology company developing the world’s highest performance photocatalyst, raised $5.8 million in Series A funding. The financing was co-led by The Engine and by The GOOSE Society of Texas. Previous investor Evok Innovations was also a major participant in the round. Other participants include angel investors from... Read more →

Engineers at Lehigh University are the first to utilize a single enzyme biomineralization process to create a quantum confined CdS/reduced graphene oxide (CdS/rGO) catalyst that uses the energy of captured sunlight to split water molecules to produce hydrogen. The synthesis process—catalyzed by the single enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE)—is performed at... Read more →

ETH Zürich, Total team develops new catalyst to convert CO2 and H2 directly to methanol efficiently

Scientists at ETH Zürich and oil and gas company Total have developed a new catalyst that efficiently converts CO2 and hydrogen directly into methanol. Offering realistic market potential, the technology paves the way for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. ETH Zürich and Total have jointly filed a patent... Read more →

An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has designed size-optimized platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells that exhibit specific and mass activities twice as high as the best commercially catalysis available today (Tanaka commercial Pt/C). A paper on their work is published in the journal... Read more →

New Na-doped ruthenium electrocatalyst shows improved OER activity and durability

An international team led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has developed an efficient sodium-doped ruthenium electrocatalyst with improved oxygen evolution activity and durability in acidic media. An open-access paper on their work is published in Nature Communications. Na doping increases the oxidation state of Ru, thereby displacing positively... Read more →

Researchers at the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), with colleagues in Korea, Japan, and the US, have added copper and platinum nanoparticles to the surface of a blue titania photocatalyst, thereby significantly improving its ability to recycle atmospheric carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels (methane and ethane). The... Read more →

Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf report on a new class of electrocatalysts that is theoretically suitable for universal use. These high entropy alloy nanoparticles are formed by mixing close to equal proportions of five or more elements, and may push the boundaries of traditional... Read more →

Researchers transform waste tire char into efficient fuel cell catalysts

A team of researchers in Italy has transformed chars—the least valuable by-product of waste-tire pyrolysis—into highly efficient Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) catalysts for use in alkaline fuel cells and metal air batteries. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. The dramatic growth in the... Read more →

Catalytic converters have been used in the US since the 1970s as a way to clean up pollutants from vehicle exhaust. In the catalytic process, rare metals such as platinum, are used in a chemical reaction to convert carbon monoxide and other pollutants to non-toxic carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water.... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Arkansas, with colleagues from Brookhaven National Lab and Argonne National Lab, have found that nanoparticles composed of nickel and iron are more effective and efficient than other more costly materials when used as catalysts in the production of hydrogen fuel through water electrolysis. A paper... Read more →

A team led by researchers from Kanazawa University in Japan, with colleagues from Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion in China, have used ozone from an atmospheric-pressure non-equilibrium plasma together with the desulfurization catalyst MnO2 to almost completely eliminate NO2 and SO2 from diesel exhaust gas at a low temperature of... Read more →

ReactWell, LLC, has licensed a novel waste-to-fuel technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to improve energy conversion methods for cleaner, more efficient oil and gas, chemical and bioenergy production. ReactWell will bring ORNL’s electrochemical process, which converts carbon dioxide directly into ethanol (earlier post), into the... Read more →

Researchers use internal strain to optimize metal catalysts for applications such as fuel cells

A team from Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University and the University of California at Irvine has developed a new strategy to tailor and to optimize the reactivity of metal catalysts in applications such as fuel cells. The application of their method could help cut down on expensive metals needed in... Read more →

A novel ruthenium-based catalyst developed by researchers at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) has shown markedly better performance than commercial platinum catalysts in alkaline water electrolysis for hydrogen production. The catalyst is a nanostructured composite material composed of carbon nanowires with ruthenium atoms bonded to nitrogen and carbon to form active... Read more →

An international team of researchers led by a group from the University of Manchester in the UK has used a biological technique which won the 2017 Nobel Chemistry Prize to reveal 3D atomic-scale chemistry in metal nanoparticles used as catalysts. It is the first time this technique has been for... Read more →

More than 100 years after the introduction of the Haber–Bosch process, scientists continue to search for alternative ammonia production routes that are less energy-demanding. A team from the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou has now discovered that black phosphorus is an excellent catalyst for the electroreduction of nitrogen... Read more →

Inspired by the breathing process of mammalian alveoli, scientists at Stanford University have developed a breathing-mimicking, pouch-type, nanoporous polyethylene (PE) structure for two-way efficient gas transport from and to an electrocatalyst/electrolyte interface. Their research is published in the journal Joule. Electrocatalytic oxygen evolution and reduction reactions play a central role... Read more →

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) have shown that recycling carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals and fuels can be economical and efficient using a single copper catalyst. The work appears in the journal Nature Catalysis. …... Read more →

Argonne chemists have identified a new catalyst that maximizes the effectiveness of platinum. Platinum—which offers unrivaled activity and stability for electrochemical reactions, such as the conversion of hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity in fuel cells—is both scarce and expensive. Scientists are searching for alternative practical fuel cell catalysts... Read more →

QUT team develops stable, bi-functional cobalt-nickel catalyst for water-splitting

Researchers at Australia’s have developed less expensive and more efficient catalysts for producing hydrogen from water-splitting. In a paper in Advanced Functional Materials, they reported introducing a low concentration of gold into Co(OH)2 followed by electrodeposition of Ni(OH)2 to yield a Co(OH)2‐Au‐Ni(OH)2 composite active in overall water splitting. This material... Read more →

A team from the US Naval Research Laboratory has developed a non-proprietary method for preparing laboratory-scale proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) that have high power and high current densities despite their low platinum loadings. The membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) feature a commercial PtCo catalyst supported on high surface area... Read more →

A University at Buffalo-led research team has developed an efficient platinum group metal (PGM)-free catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in PEM fuel cells that consists of atomically dispersed nitrogen-coordinated single Mn sites on partially graphitic carbon (Mn-N-C). In a paper in Nature Catalysis, the researchers report that the... Read more →

German researchers develop multinary noble-metal-free electrocatalyst system as active as platinum

Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Germany have discovered an 5-element alloy that is noble metal-free and as active as platinum. They published their paper in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), as a key reaction in electrocatalysis, attracts considerable attention due... Read more →

One factor holding back the widespread use of eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cells in cars, trucks and other vehicles is the cost of the platinum catalysts that make the cells work. One approach to using less precious platinum is to combine it with other cheaper metals, but those alloy catalysts tend... Read more →

A research team led by Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute Of Science And Technology (DGIST) Professor Jong-Sung Yu in Korea, with colleagues at UC Berkeley and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, has successfully developed a new catalyst synthesis method that can efficiently decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen using solar light. A... Read more →

Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a new catalyst that can convert ammonia into hydrogen fuel at ambient pressure using only light energy, mainly due to a plasmonic effect that makes the catalyst more efficient. Their study, published in Science, describes new catalytic nanoparticles which are made mostly of copper with... Read more →

Univ of Illinois team mixed metals with perchloric acid to create stable, efficient catalyst for water splitting

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have mixed metal compounds with perchloric acid to create a stable, efficient electrocatalytic material for the oxygen evolution reaction in acidic media. The resulting porous Y2[Ru1.6Y0.4]O7−δ electrocatalyst exhibits a turnover frequency (TOF) of 560 s−1 (at 1.5 V versus RHE) for the oxygen evolution... Read more →

Ames Lab launching $3.2M project to develop software for exascale computing for chemistry of catalysis

The US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory is launching a four-year, $3.2-million project to develop software that will bring the power of exascale computers to the computational study and design of catalytic materials. Ames Laboratory scientist Mark Gordon, also the Francis M. Craig Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State... Read more →

Volkswagen and Stanford University develop modified ALD process to increase Pt/C fuel cell catalyst efficiency, improve durability

Volkswagen and Stanford University have developed in partnership a new catalyst production process to reduce the comparatively high cost of automotive fuel cell technology. One of the biggest cost drivers for fuel cells is the use of the precious metal platinum as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell. The... Read more →

A Dalhousie University-led team has developed a longer-lasting, higher-efficiency platinum catalyst. The new catalyst combines gold and platinum to form what’s known as a single-atom catalyst, resulting in nearly 100-fold increases in efficiency over market platinum catalysts, says Peng Zhang, the Dalhousie professor who led this research. A paper on... Read more →

SwRI to launch 2nd phase of Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies consortium

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is launching the Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies II (AC2AT-II) consortium focusing on engine emissions solutions and innovative catalyst technologies. The AC2AT-II kickoff meeting will be 15 Nov. at SwRI’s headquarters in San Antonio and is open to interested automotive industry manufacturers. SwRI launched the... Read more →

In an open-access study published in the journal Science Advances, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, along with their counterparts at Harvard University, report on the hierarchical 3D printing of nanoporous gold, a proof of concept that researchers say could revolutionize the design of chemical reactors. Combining 3D printing through... Read more →

A KAIST research team has developed a fully dispersed Rh ensemble catalyst (ENS) that shows better performance at lower temperatures than commercial diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC). This newly developed ENSs could improve low-temperature automobile exhaust treatment. Precious metals have been used for various heterogeneous reactions, but it is crucial to... Read more →

University of Louisville researchers working on new HER catalysts for water-splitting; $1M from NSF, DOE

Researchers at the University of Louisville are developing new catalyst materials for the hydrogen evolution reaction in water splitting, where the bond between hydrogen (H2) and oxygen is released. The current catalyst used in electrolyzers for the production of H2 from water is platinum, which is very expensive. This research... Read more →