Oliver Y. Gutierrez and Jamie Holladay, catalysis researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), led a special issue of the January 2021 Journal of Applied Electrochemistry. The issue focuses on electrochemical routes for biomass conversion.
The trio published a foreword that expounds on the benefits, growing need, and challenges of electrochemistry—the interaction between electricity and a chemical change—used to convert waste- and biomass-carbon sources into energy and chemical products.
The foreword also introduces 11 papers in the special issue that highlight advantages of using electrochemistry to convert biomass-derived compounds. Specifically, according to the authors of the foreword, “we present a collection of papers that nicely illustrate the challenges of advancing electrochemical routes for biomass conversion and the efforts of the scientific community to solve those challenges by building on elements of kinetics and catalysis, materials science, organic chemistry, and engineering.”
The papers were authored by researchers from a myriad of institutions, including the Universities of Michigan, Colorado Boulder, Oklahoma, British Columbia, and Tennessee; Loyola College; the Korea Institute of Science and Technology; Texas Tech University; Kyushu University; South China University of Technology; North Carolina State University; Ohio University; the National Bioenergy Center; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and PNNL.
PNNL research teams authored two of the papers:
- “Simultaneous Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Aldehydes and Phenol Over Carbon-supported Metals” by Gutierrez, Udishnu Sanyal, Katherine Koh, Laura C. Meyer, and Abhi Karkamkar.
- “Electrocatalytic Valorization into H2 and Hydrocarbons of an Aqueous Stream Derived from Hydrothermal Liquefaction” by Holladay, Gutierrez, Juan A. Lopez-Ruiz, Yang Qiu, and Evan Andrews.
The entire list of papers in this special issue is available in the foreword, with links to each paper.
Support for the research featured in the special issue was provided by a variety of sources, including internal institution funding, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences program, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.