Catalysts are key components of processes to produce biofuels and biochemicals because they can speed up reactions or allow them to occur at lower pressures and temperatures, reducing equipment and energy costs. Argonne’s flagship facilities, including the Advanced Photon Source (APS), allow Argonne researchers to explore the science behind catalyst activity and deactivation. The resulting information informs the design of catalysts for bioprocesses that are robust and economical. Further, catalyst preparation and modification techniques under study at Argonne include atomic layer deposition (ALD), which can improve catalyst function. Additionally, Argonne researchers are using computational tools to improve catalyst design and functionality in pyrolysis processes to produce hydrocarbon-like fuels from biomass as part of the Computational Pyrolysis Consortium.
Catalysts to speed up reactions or allow them to occur at lower pressures and temperatures