Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
Aaron Appel is an organometallic chemist with a focus on basic energy research related to the production and use of fuels through catalysis and electrocatalysis. He is currently leading the molecular catalysis effort on CO2 reduction and fuel utilization, and is also working as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center. For the reduction of CO2 and subsequent fuel utilization, the goal of the work is the design of new catalysts with specific emphasis on the use of bifunctional interactions and thermochemical considerations. Dr. Appel's role in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis is in thermochemical measurements, especially as they pertain to the production and utilization of H2.
Dr. Appel's primary areas of expertise are thermochemical measurements, electrochemistry, catalyst design and synthetic chemistry, small molecule spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry. Dr. Appel also has a background in CO2 capture research, particularly in developing new methods with higher energy efficiency, such as electrochemically switchable CO2 capture.
- Electrochemistry: Utilization of electrochemistry for the conversion of electrical energy to chemical energy through electrocatalysis. Controlled substrate binding using electrochemical switching, including CO2 capture and concentration. Hydrogen production and utilization and CO2 capture, concentration, and conversion are all of primary interest.
- Fundamental thermodynamic studies of bond strengths: Determination of bond strengths using thermodynamic cycles through the study of equilibria and electrochemical processes, particularly as related to catalysis.
- Synthetic inorganic and organometallic chemistry: Synthesis of relevant species to catalysis and electrocatalysis, particularly for fuel production and utilization. Characterization of synthetic species by electrochemistry, mass spectrometry, NMR, EPR, and other applicable techniques.
Education and Credentials
- B.S. in Chemistry from Washington State University, Pullman
- Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from University of Colorado, Boulder
Affiliations and Professional Service
- American Chemical Society
- Appel AM, JE Bercaw, AB Bocarsly, H Dobbek, DL DuBois, M Dupuis, JG Ferry, E Fujita, R Hille, P Kenis, CA Kerfeld, RH Morris, CHF Peden, A Portis, S Ragsdale, TB Rauchfuss, J Reek, LC Seefeldt, RK Thauer, and GL Waldrop. 2013. "Frontiers, Opportunities, and Challenges in Biochemical and Chemical Catalysis of CO2." Chemical Reviews 113(8):6621-6658. doi:10.1021/cr300463y
- Franz JA, MJ O'Hagan, MH Ho, TL Liu, ML Helm, S Lense, DL DuBois, WJ Shaw, AM Appel, S Raugei, and RM Bullock. 2013. "Conformational Dynamics and Proton Relay Positioning in Nickel Catalysts for Hydrogen Production and Oxidation." Organometallics 32(23):7034-7042. doi:10.1021/om400695w
- Horvath S, L Fernandez, AM Appel, and S Hammes-Schiffer. 2013. "pH-Dependent Reduction Potentials and Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Mechanisms in Hydrogen-Producing Nickel Molecular Electrocatalysts." Inorganic Chemistry 52(7):3643-3652. doi:10.1021/ic302056j
- Hulley EB, KD Welch, AM Appel, DL DuBois, and RM Bullock. 2013. "Rapid, Reversible Heterolytic Cleavage of Bound H2." Journal of the American Chemical Society 135(32):11736-11739. doi:10.1021/ja405755j
- Jain A, ML Reback, ML Lindstrom, CE Thogerson, ML Helm, AM Appel, and WJ Shaw. 2012. "Investigating the Role of the Outer-Coordination Sphere in [Ni(PPh2NPh-R2)2]2+ Hydrogenase Mimics." Inorganic Chemistry 51(12):6592-6602. doi:10.1021/ic300149x
- Lense S, MH Ho, S Chen, A Jain, S Raugei, JC Linehan, JA Roberts, AM Appel, and WJ Shaw. 2012. "Incorporating Amino Acid Esters into Catalysts for Hydrogen Oxidation: Steric and Electronic Effects and the Role of Water as a Base." Organometallics 31(19):6719-6731. doi:10.1021/om300409y
- O'Hagan MJ, MH Ho, JY Yang, AM Appel, M Rakowski DuBois, S Raugei, WJ Shaw, DL DuBois, and RM Bullock. 2012. "Proton Delivery and Removal in [Ni(PR2NR'2)2]2+ Hydrogen Production and Oxidation Catalysts." Journal of the American Chemical Society 134(47):19409-19424. doi:10.1021/ja307413x
- Seu C, AM Appel, MD Doud, DL DuBois, and C Kubiak. 2012. "Formate oxidation via ß-deprotonation in [Ni(PR2NR'2)2(CH3CN)]2+ complexes." Energy & Environmental Science 5(4):6480-6490. doi:10.1039/c2ee03341k
- Appel AM, DH Pool, MJ O'Hagan, WJ Shaw, JY Yang, M Rakowski DuBois, DL DuBois, and RM Bullock. 2011. "[Ni(PPh2NBn2)2(CH3CN)]2+ as an Electrocatalyst for H2 Production: Dependence on Acid Strength and Isomer Distribution." ACS Catalysis 1(7):777-785. doi:10.1021/cs2000939
- Galan BR, J Schoffel, JC Linehan, C Seu, AM Appel, JA Roberts, ML Helm, UJ Kilgore, JY Yang, DL DuBois, and C Kubiak. 2011. "Electrocatalytic Oxidation of Formate by [Ni(PR2NR`2)2(CH3CN)]2+ Complexes." Journal of the American Chemical Society 113(35):12767-12779. doi:10.1021/ja204489e
- Kilgore UJ, JA Roberts, DH Pool, AM Appel, MP Stewart, II, M Rakowski DuBois, WG Dougherty, WS Kassel, RM Bullock, and DL DuBois. 2011. "[Ni(PPh2NC6H4X2)2]2+ Complexes as Electrocatalysts for H2 Production: Effect of Substituents, Acids, and Water on Catalytic Rates." Journal of the American Chemical Society 133(15):5861-5872. doi:10.1021/ja109755f
- Roberts JA, AM Appel, DL DuBois, and RM Bullock. 2011. "Comprehensive Thermochemistry of W-H Bonding in the Metal Hydrides CpW(CO)2(IMes)H, [CpW(CO)2(IMes)H]·+, and [CpW(CO)2(IMes)(H)2]+. Influence of an N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligand on Metal Hydride Bond Energies." Journal of the American Chemical Society 133(37):14604-14613. doi:10.1021/ja202830w
- Appel AM, SJ Lee, JA Franz, DL DuBois, and M Rakowski DuBois. 2009. "Free Energy Landscapes for S-H Bonds in (Cp2Mo2S4)-Mo-star Complexes." Journal of the American Chemical Society 131(14):5224-5232. doi:10.1021/ja8093179
- Appel AM, SJ Lee, JA Franz, DL DuBois, M Rakowski DuBois, and B Twamley. 2009. "Determination of S-H Bond Strengths in Dimolybdenum Tetrasulfide Complexes." Organometallics 28(3):749-754.
- Franz JA, SJ Lee, TA Bowden, MS Alnajjar, AM Appel, JC Birnbaum, TE Bitterwolf, and M Dupuis. 2009. "Activation of the S-H Group in Fe(µ2-SH)Fe Clusters: S-H Bond Strengths and Free Radical Reactivity of the Fe(µ2-SH)Fe Cluster." Journal of the American Chemical Society 131(42):15212-15224.
- Appel AM, SJ Lee, JA Franz, DL DuBois, M Rakowski DuBois, JC Birnbaum, and B Twamley. 2008. "Formation and Reactivity of a Persistent Radical in a Dinuclear Molybdenum Complex." Journal of the American Chemical Society 130(28):8940-8951. doi:10.1021/ja078115r
- Holladay JE, HM Brown, AM Appel, and ZC Zhang. 2008. "Novel Hydride Transfer Catalysis for Carbohydrate Conversions." In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Catalysis of Organic Reactions, vol. 123, ed. ML Prunier, pp. 411-418. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
- Fraze K, A Wilson, AM Appel, M Rakowski DuBois, and DL DuBois. 2007. "Thermodynamic Properties of the Ni-H Bond in Complexes of the Type [HNi(P2RN2R')2](BF4) and Evaluation of Factors that Control Catalytic Activity for Hydrogen Oxidation/Production." Organometallics 26(16):3918-3924. doi:10.1021/om070143v