Tackling Our Energy Challenges in a New Era of Science
Researchers use materials free of precious metals to speed the troubling side of the fuel cell reaction
Replacing technologies that use fossil fuel with ones that use rare metals -- that's part of the problem for fuel cells. The cells use hydrogen generated at solar and wind stations to produce electricity. But, the cells require platinum to speed the reactions. Scientists at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have found another way. By combining two simple, inexpensive, metal-free catalysts, they sped the cell's slower reaction.
PNNL scientists share fundamental insights in energy and atmospheric science at ACS National Meeting
Researchers from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will be honored and present new work at the 250th American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Aug. 16-20.
The reaction to convert solar energy to fuel is 50 times faster with a simple change in the solvent used
For catalysts, the environment matters. Packing in protons and water lets a hydrogen-producing catalyst work 50 times faster than the previous record holder, according to scientists at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, which is led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This discovery provides another page to the design guidelines for super-fast catalysts to turn intermittent sunlight into fuels.
Before they can power your car, hydrogen fuel cells need an efficiency boost. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists Dr. Wendy Shaw and Dr. Monte Helm led an invitation-only workshop at the Telluride Science Research Center on hydrogenase mimics, which catalyze hydrogen production and use for fuel cells.
Interview with Chris Jones, Editor-in-Chief of ACS Catalysis, shows what it takes to control protons
Congratulations to the Hydrogen Catalysis Team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on receiving the 2015 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science. Check out the video interview with Chris Jones, an American Chemical Society Editor-in-Chief, to learn what it took for the team to elucidate the design rules of one of the decade's great catalysis breakthroughs.
Once thought unimportant, a supporting film actually speeds or derails electricity production
Quickly, reliably turning wind energy into fuel means looking beyond the catalyst to its foundation, according to a study from the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, headquartered at Pacific Northwest National Lab. The team discovered that the catalyst's support has as much of an impact as the catalyst structure itself because the technique used to place the support changes the mesoscale environment.
Catalysis scientist Monte Helm joined national lab colleagues to fill grad students and postdocs in on what it takes to get into a national lab and what it takes to stay. He took part in two webinars hosted by the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry in February and March. The CSMC is a Center for Chemical Innovation sponsored by the NSF offering student and professional development opportunities and programs to train the next generation of innovators.
Transformations: The Value of Catalysis, Top Five List from CME's Last Five Years, Catalytic Choreography
The Institute for Integrated Catalysis' Transformations contains an overview on the value of catalysis to the economy, society, and scientific research. This issue's feature is on the first five years of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at PNNL. Don't miss the latest video, "Catalytic Choreography." Zdenek Dohnalek (see photo) explains how his team discovers how molecules move, break and rejoin on the surface of a catalyst--fundamental knowledge for designing better catalysts to produce renewable energy.
Congratulations to the Hydrogen Catalysis Team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on winning the 2015 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science. The team earned the award for research that has revolutionized understanding of the role of proton movement in the electrocatalytic interconversion of electricity and hydrogen fuel.
This is the first team win for the lectureship. The members are Morris Bullock, Daniel DuBois, Monte Helm, Michel Dupuis, Simone Raugei, Jenny Yang, John Roberts, Molly O'Hagan, Wendy Shaw, Aaron Appel, and Eric Wiedner at PNNL, and Sharon Hammes-Schiffer at University of Illinois. The team is part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the DOE Office of Science's Basic Energy Sciences.
A new approach shows the molecular consequences of everything from taking unnecessary detours to getting hopelessly lost
With catalysts, small design decisions can derail a trip through complex reaction paths. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists have elaborated on a strategy to map the catalytic route. Scientists can now explore design decisions with molecular catalysts that store or release energy from the chemical bond in dihydrogen.
Congratulations to Dr. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer on being appointed editor-in-chief of Chemical Reviews beginning in 2015. Hammes-Schiffer is a world leader in theoretical and computational chemistry. She has extensively studied proton-coupled electron transfer reactions at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis. She is the Swanlund Professor of Chemistry at theUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Congratulations to researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on having two of the outstanding metal catalysts they have developed featured on the covers of issues of Organometallics, a journal published by the American Chemical Society. The work was done in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center, headquartered at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
Congratulations to Dr. Shannon Stahl, faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and investigator in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, on earning the 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Winner for academic research.
Congratulations to Dr. Monte Helm and Dr. Ryan Stolley, Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on having their commentary appear in the November 2014 issue of Nature Chemistry. The journal's editors asked the scientists to write a news and views article on a recent report about the catalytic production of hydrogen from renewable sources.
Morris Bullock was quoted in the August 8, 2014, issue of the Science.
In the August 8 issue of Science, Dr. Morris Bullock at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is quoted as an outside expert on a new ammonia production method. In the article titled "New Recipe Produces Ammonia from Air, Water, and Sunlight," writer Robert Service covers work at George Washington University that uses a molten mixture of sodium hydroxide and potassium to synthesize ammonia. Bullock is quoted about the significance of the research.
At the national laboratory, Bullock leads the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and American Chemical Society. His work in developing transition metal electrocatalysts earned him the Royal Society of Chemistry's Homogeneous Catalysis Award in 2013.