Press Releases

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Scientists at Argonne National Lab have developed a new fuel cell catalyst using earthly abundant materials with performance that is comparable to platinum in laboratory tests. If commercially viable, the new catalyst could replace platinum in electric cars powered by fuel cells instead of batteries, which would greatly extend the range of electric vehicles and eliminate the need for recharging. This figure shows the microstructural difference between conventional catalysts and the new reduced-platinum catalyst. (Image courtesy Di-Jia Liu; click to view larger).
New catalyst may hasten commercialization of fuel cell vehicles

Supported by DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office, scientists at Argonne have developed a new fuel cell catalyst using earthly abundant materials with performance that is comparable to platinum in laboratory tests. If commercially viable, the new catalyst could replace platinum in electric cars powered by fuel cells instead of batteries, which would greatly extend the range of electric vehicles and eliminate the need for recharging.

August 25, 2015
Matthew Tirrell, the Founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, has been appointed to an additional scientific leadership role at Argonne, in a move that will strengthen the two institutions’ combined efforts. (Click image to view larger.)
Matthew Tirrell named Deputy Laboratory Director for Science at Argonne National Laboratory

Matthew Tirrell, the Founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, has been appointed to an additional scientific leadership role at Argonne, in a move that will strengthen the two institutions’ combined efforts.

August 24, 2015
Argonne principal mechanical engineer Sibendu Som (left) and computational scientist Raymond Bair discuss combustion engine simulations conducted by the Virtual Engine Research Institute and Fuels Initiative (VERIFI). The initiative will be running massive simulations on Argonne’s Mira supercomputer to gain further insight into the inner workings of combustion engines. (Click image to view larger.)
Argonne pushing boundaries of computing in engine simulations

Researchers at Argonne will be testing the limits of computing horsepower this year with a new simulation project from the Virtual Engine Research Institute and Fuels Initiative that will harness 60 million computer core hours to dispel uncertainties and pave the way to more effective engine simulations.

August 24, 2015
One of the metallic samples studied, niobium diselenide, is seen here–the square in the center–as prepared for an X-ray diffraction experiment. Credit: University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory. Click image to view larger.
Caltech announces discovery in fundamental physics

Scientists recently used the Advanced Photon Source to investigate the existence of instabilities in the arrangement of the electrons in metals as a function of both temperature and pressure, and to pinpoint, for the first time, how those instabilities arise.

August 18, 2015
From left to right: Mark Keenum, President, Mississippi State University, and Peter Littlewood, director of Argonne National Laboratory, sign a memorandum of understanding for a collaboration to develop new technologies that address next-generation energy storage challenges. (Click image to view larger.)
Argonne and Mississippi State University partner to create energy storage technology solutions for southeast region

Argonne National Laboratory and Mississippi State University are collaborating to develop new technologies that address next-generation energy storage challenges. New discoveries could enhance the load-balancing capabilities of the electric grid in the Southeast region.

August 13, 2015
The unit cell of the nickelate NdNiO3 is shown with Nd represented by blue, O by red and Ni by green. The Ni electron density (green) is believed to transfer to the Nd (blue) during the metal-insulator transition. (Image courtesy Mary Upton; click to view larger.)
Insight into obscure transition uncovered by X-rays

The list of potential mechanisms that underlie an unusual metal-insulator transition has been narrowed by a team of scientists using a combination of X-ray techniques. This transition has ramifications for material design for electronics and sensors.

August 12, 2015
Argonne researchers Osman Eryilmaz (left) and Gerald Jeka (right) recover industrial parts from the large-scale ultra-fast boriding furnace after a successful boriding treatment. This process for extending the lifetime of mechanical parts, which just received its U.S. patent, saves time, money and energy compared to conventional technique, and even alleviates environmental concerns. (Click image to view larger.)
Erdemir receives patent for ultra-fast surface hardening technology

A newly patented technology by Distinguished Fellow Ali Erdemir and his team at Argonne National Laboratory could greatly extend the lifetime of mechanical parts. The team designed a device for ultra-fast boriding, which compared to conventional boriding techniques saves time, money and energy, and even alleviates environmental concerns.

August 11, 2015
Harry Weerts has been named the associate laboratory director for Argonne's Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate. (Click image to view larger.)
Weerts to lead Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate

Hendrik (Harry) Joseph Weerts has been named the associate laboratory director for the Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate at Argonne National Laboratory.

August 10, 2015
A copper tetramer catalyst created by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory may help capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy. It consists of small clusters of four copper atoms each, supported on a thin film of aluminum oxide. These catalysts work by binding to carbon dioxide molecules, orienting them in a way that is ideal for chemical reactions. The structure of the copper tetramer is such that most of its binding sites are open, which means it can attach more strongly to carbon dioxide and can better accelerate the conversion. (Image courtesy Larry Curtiss; click to view larger.)
Copper clusters capture and convert carbon dioxide to make fuel

The chemical reactions that make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and Argonne scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.

August 6, 2015
Lithium ions react with silicon to form a new compound, which causes the electrode to expand. Researchers found that flouroethylene carbonate molecules produce a rubber-like protective layer that can accommodate the electrode expansion. Infographic by Sana Sandler/Sarah Schlieder; click to view larger.
Protective shells may boost silicon lithium-ion batteries

Researchers found that fluoroethylene carbonate creates a rubber-like protective shell around the negative electrode inside silicon-based lithium-ion batteries.

August 5, 2015