Wendy Shaw, director of the Physical Sciences Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, guest edited a topical issue on (photo)electrocatalysis for renewable energy in ChemComm. This special issue published in January 2021 brought together advances in fundamental and applied science addressing the (photo)electrocatalysis for energy storage and conversion of small molecules. The themed collection focuses on the “advances in fundamental and applied science addressing the synthesis, characterization, mechanisms, and performance of (photo)electrocatalysts for energy storage and conversion of small molecules into useful specialty and commodity chemicals and fuels.”
The collection specifically explores metalloenzymes, molecular catalysts, and heterogeneous catalysts, and spans both experimental and theoretical efforts. Shaw said, “The collection shows how far we’ve come. The real power of the issue was showing these advancements by bringing all of these pieces together in one place.”
The collection discusses a growing demand facing humanity—renewable energy and energy storage. We aren’t always able to use all of the energy when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, so the ability to store energy for longer-term use is an important endeavor. “The really cool thing about the research is the focus on being able to see movement toward clean and renewable energy,” said Shaw.
Guest editing a collection like this is a “great opportunity to pull colleagues together to create a holistic picture of the science. Each colleague brought a synergistic or complementary piece to the collection,” said Shaw.
Shaw partnered with Abhishek Dey, a chemistry professor at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in India, Frances A. Houle of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Carolyn E. Lubner of National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Marta Sevilla of Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología del Carbono in Spain to create the special collection along with an editorial that introduces the issue and provides a summary.
Shaw has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and serves on review panels for the National Institute of Health and the Department of Energy.