A technique from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory for creating a new molecule that structurally and chemically replicates the active part of the molybdenite catalyst paves the way for developing catalytic materials that can serve as effective low-cost alternatives to platinum for generating hydrogen gas from water.
In chemistry, downsizing can have positive attributes. Reducing the number of steps and reagents in synthetic reactions, for example, enables chemists to boost their productivity while reducing their environmental footprint. This type of ‘atom economy’ could soon improve, thanks to a new rare-earth metal catalyst developed at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako.
A new catalytic process discovered by the Cardiff Catalysis Institute could unleash a range of useful new byproducts from diesel fuel production. The team has reported the use of a mixed-metal catalyst to convert decane to a range of oxygenated aromatics.
A big reason for publishing scientific results is to inform others who can then use your data and conclusions to make additional discoveries, technologies or products. But what good are findings if they are, well, hard to find? Scientists from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have a solution for those who design new chemical catalysts: They made an app.
Metal-based chemical catalysts have excellent green chemistry credentials—in principle at least. In theory, catalysts are reusable because they drive chemical reactions without being consumed. In reality, however, recovering all of a catalyst at the end of a reaction is difficult, so it is gradually lost. Now, chemists can retain, retrieve, and reuse metal catalysts by trapping them with a polymer matrix.
N.E. Chemcat Corporation has licensed electrocatalysts developed by scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory that can reduce the use of costly platinum and increase the effectiveness of fuel cells for use in electric vehicles. In addition, the license includes innovative methods for making the catalysts and an apparatus design used in manufacturing them.
A team of engineers at Northwestern University has created an electrode for conventional lithium-ion batteries that allows them to both hold a charge up to 10 times greater than current technology and charge up to 10 times faster than current batteries.
For the past 100 years, the Haber-Bosch process has been used to convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, which is essential in the manufacture of fertilizer. Despite the longstanding reliability of the process, scientists have had little understanding of how it actually works. Until now.
Researchers studying how biodiesel can be generated using E. coli as a catalyst have determined the bacteria have what it takes to produce high volumes of the fuel. Now they need to figure out how to tweak its cellular controls in order to kick it into high gear.
In 2005, Richard Schrock won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing catalysts for olefin metathesis, a widely used reaction which involves breaking and making carbon-carbon double bonds to create new ones. Until now, however, the configuration of the olefin products has been unpredictable. Boston College researchers have developed a catalyst that offers greater control over this process.
According to the team who made the discovery, a new compound made from cobalt, iron and oxygen with other metals can split oxygen atoms from water at a rate at least an order of magnitude higher than the compound currently considered the gold standard.
A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found one of the most effective catalysts ever discovered for splitting oxygen atoms from water molecules—a key reaction for advanced energy-storage systems. This new catalyst liberates oxygen at more than 10 times the rate of the best previously known catalyst of its type.
A new concept for a rechargeable battery has been developed by researchers in Germany. Based on a fluoride shuttle, which involves the transfer of fluoride anions between electrodes, the mechanism replaces lithium during charge transfer and allows the flow of many more electrons per metal atom.
Typical fuel cells and batteries rely on solid metal electrodes, and under normal, ambient conditions a plasma electrode is not practical. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University, however, recently demonstrated one that does function at atmospheric temperature and pressure.
An University of Illinois research team has succeeded in overcoming one major obstacle to a promising technology that simultaneously reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide and produces fuel.
University of Utah chemists developed a method to design and test new catalysts. By using the new method, the chemists also made a discovery that will make it easier to design future catalysts. The discovery: the sizes and electronic properties of catalysts interact to affect how well a catalyst performs, and are not independent factors as was though previously.
Hydrogen has long been considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels for powering cars, trucks, and even homes. But one major obstacle has been finding lightweight, robust, and inexpensive ways of storing the gas. New research by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and several other institutions analyzes the performance of a class of materials considered a promising candidate for such storage.
Alternative fuel sources for cars may have a glowing future as a Kansas State University graduate student is working to replace petroleum fuels with ones made from sunlight.
A team of University of Southern California scientists has developed an efficient method of using hydrogen as a fuel source. The method involves a catalyst system that releases enough hydrogen from its storage in ammonia borane to make it usable as a fuel source.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.
A new synthetic material designed to help speed a reaction involved in the hydrogen gas production pipeline works 10 times faster than the natural protein used to design it, report scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Gold, nanoparticles can be extremely good catalysts, but conventional methods of preparing them alter the morphology and catalytic activity of the particles. Now, an international team of researchers has developed a procedure that enhances the surface exposure of gold nanoparticles and their catalytic activity over a range of reactions.
It was previously considered impossible, but chemists at the University of California, Riverside have done it, making a family of boron compounds, which are acidic, behave like nitrogen compounds, which are bases. Developed during a search for a non-toxic catalyst, the breakthrough offers opportunities for a vast array of chemical reactions.
A novel application of carbon nanotubes, developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers, shows promise as an innovative approach to storing solar energy for use whenever it’s needed.
Solid oxide fuel cells rely on nickel-ceramic anodes that are easily clogged by carbon-containing fuels. Using barium oxide nanoparticles, however, Georgia Tech researchers have developed a self-cleaning technique that could allow solid oxide fuel cells to be powered directly by coal gas at relatively low temperatures without coking.