A team of scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland is the first team rather than individual to win the American Chemical Society’s Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science.
“Our outstanding scientists focus on grand challenges critical for controlling chemical transformations for energy applications,” said Doug Ray, PNNL’s associate laboratory director for fundamental and computational sciences.
The team’s research has revolutionized the understanding of the role or proton movement in the electrocatalytic interconversion of electricity and hydrogen fuel, according to the American Chemical Society. It has had a profound impact on catalysis as a whole and has strengthened the connections between bio-related and molecular catalysis, as well as between experimental and theoretical chemists, the society said.
Catalysis accelerates the rates of chemical reactions to selectively produce desired products.
The team focused on the use of abundant metals, such as nickel and iron, rather than precious metals such as platinum, to make fast and energy-efficient catalysts that can be used on the huge scale necessary for practical energy conversions.
PNNL’s Hydrogen Catalysis team is led by Morris Bullock and, until his recent retirement, Dan DuBois. Other team members named on the award are Monte Helm, Michel Dupuis, Simone Raugei, Molly O’Hagan, Wendy Shaw, Aaron Appel, and Eric Wiedner, all of PNNL; former PNNL staff members Jenny Yang and John Roberts; and Sharon Hammes-Schiffer of the University of Illinois.