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Catalytic Transformation of Carbon Feedstocks to Liquid Fuels
Scientists find a potential cost-effective, non-precious metal catalyst
July 31, 2018
The image in the center shows an electron micro-graph of single-atom catalysts transforming carbon feedstocks into useful chemicals. The illustrations on both sides show the chemical reactions. Image credit: ACS Catal. 8, 3875−3884 (2018)
Scientists demonstrated how the structure of atomically dispersed metal sites affects their catalytic performance in carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bond activation.
This highly active, non-precious metal catalyst offers a cost-effective way to transform carbon feedstocks into value-added chemicals and liquid fuels.
In our everyday lives we produce large amounts of carbon-containing waste, from industrial processes down to everyday garbage. But it doesn’t have to end up as only waste; through catalytic processes we can transform carbon-containing waste or carbon feedstock into useful chemicals or fuels. This catalytic transformation of carbon feedstock to useful chemicals usually involves the activation of carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds, whether the feedstock source is petroleum, natural gas, or biomass. Scientists have found that precious-metal catalysts possess the right features to activate C−H bonds; however, high costs limit their application in largescale systems.
In this recent work, scientists demonstrated how the structure of atomically dispersed metal sites affects their catalytic performance in C-H bond activation under various temperatures. The researchers worked together with scientists from the Inner-Shell Spectroscopy (ISS) beamline. The ISS beamline is part advanced capability suite at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.
At ISS, the team characterized the structure of the single metal-atom active sites during the conversion of the carbon feedstock. They observed high catalytic activity and effectiveness during the transformation using a non-precious metal catalyst.
This observation may offer a new pathway to more cost-effective, large-scale applications for carbon feedstock transformation.
Robert J. Davis
J. Xie, J. D. Kammert, N. Kaylor, J. W. Zheng, E. Choi, H. N. Pham, X. Sang, E. Stavitski, K. Attenkofer, R. R. Unocic, A. K. Datye, R. J. Davis. Atomically Dispersed Co and Cu on N-Doped Carbon for Reactions Involving C–H Activation. ACS Catal. 8, 3875−3884 (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.8b00141
This work was supported by the U.S. NSF under Grants EEC-0813570 (Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, CBiRC) and CBET-1157829. A portion of the microscopy research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. This research used beamline 8-ID (ISS) of the National Synchrotron Light Source II, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Brookhaven National Laboratory under Contract DE-SC0012704
2018-18956 | INT/EXT | Newsroom