At PNNL, scientists have elaborated on a strategy to map the catalytic route. Scientists can now explore design decisions with molecular catalysts that store or release energy from the chemical bond in dihydrogen (H2).
Like ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen feast.
In their invited review for Chemical Communications, Dr. R. Morris Bullock, Dr. Aaron Appel, and Dr. Monte Helm at PNNL describe how proton relays and other factors influence the catalysts that produce the desired chemical bonds.
Using their understanding of a proton's choices, CME researchers revised their nickel-based catalyst to quickly handle one of a fuel cell's tough challenges: breaking chemical bonds and freeing the stored electrons to work.
By directly comparing three closely related catalysts, CME scientists established that hydrogen production speed and efficiency are influenced by the molecules' structure and proton relay arrangement, not the total number relays.
In studying how to modify carbon electrodes for catalyzed reactions, scientists at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis designed a process for creating a plethora of specialized electrodes at room temperature.
Few catalysts are energy efficient, highly active, stable and operate in water, but a nickel-based catalyst designed at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at PNNL quickly produces hydrogen molecules in solutions with 75 percent water
A new catalyst is faster when it and its surrounding acid have the same proton donating ability or pKa, according to scientists at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center, at PNNL.
A fast and efficient iron-based catalyst that splits hydrogen gas to make electricity — necessary to make fuel cells more economical — was reported by researchers at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, based at PNNL.
By grafting features analogous to those in Mother Nature's catalysts onto a synthetic catalyst, scientists at PNNL created a hydrogen production catalyst that is 40% faster than the unmodified catalyst.