Catalysis & energy conversion

Finding a suitable platinum substitute for fuel cellsApril 2, 2014

In a new study led by Argonne National Laboratory chemist Di-Jia Liu, researchers have identified a new way to synthesize inexpensive, transition metal-based catalysts as an alternative to platinum. These new catalysts offer the promise of substantially reducing the fuel cell cost.

A new material for solar panels could make them cheaper, more efficientDecember 11, 2013

A unique solar panel design made with a new ceramic material points the way to potentially providing sustainable power cheaper, more efficiently, and requiring less manufacturing time. It also reaches a four-decade-old goal of discovering a bulk photovoltaic material that can harness energy from visible and infrared light, not just ultraviolet light.

Researchers hope better catalysts lead to better ways of converting biomass to fuelAugust 7, 2013

Scientists and entrepreneurs of old spent millennia trying to transmute lead into gold. Today, a new and more intellectually rigorous kind of alchemy has begun to produce important benefits for an economy that still relies heavily on fossil fuels.

Discovery of new material state counterintuitive to laws of physicsJune 11, 2013

When you squeeze something, it gets smaller. Unless you’re at Argonne National Laboratory. At the suburban Chicago laboratory, a group of scientists has seemingly defied the laws of physics and found a way to apply pressure to make a material expand instead of compress/contract.

Nanoscale 'Goldilocks' phenomenon could improve biofuel production January 15, 2013

In a case of the Goldilocks story retold at the molecular level, scientists at Argonne and Northwestern University have discovered a new path to the development of more stable and efficient catalysts.

Caught in the light: Studying photostorageSeptember 24, 2012

A team of scientists successfully elucidated the mechanism of the photostorage step in the thermally reversible photoisomerization of FvRu2(CO)4.

Scientists uncover a photosynthetic puzzleMay 21, 2012

Quantum physics and plant biology seem like two branches of science that could not be more different, but surprisingly they may in fact be intimately tied.

Researchers at Argonne and the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame used ultrafast spectroscopy to see what happens at the subatomic level during the very first stage of photosynthesis.

New Process for Synthesizing Robust CatalystsMarch 9, 2012

The two main routes for the deactivation of catalysts consisting of metal nanoparticles are coking (the accumulation of carbon on the metal that blocks the catalytic sites) and sintering (the formation of larger metal particles that lowers the activity).

7 things you may not know about catalysisDecember 14, 2011

Catalysts are one of those things that few people think much about, beyond perhaps in high school chemistry, but they make the world tick.