UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF CATALYSTS

Platinum has been used in the past for catalysis tasks, but it is expensive, mainly because of its scarcity and also because of the mining operation required to obtain it. Platinum catalysis can also give undesirable side products.

Exploration of metal oxides has potential to drive catalysis research to new heights

Feb. 25, 2019

Recent research conducted by CCEI, published in the newest issue of Nature Catalysis, has further unlocked the mystery on a class of materials that have long been understudied as catalysts: metal oxides. In addition to driving more affordable and stable chemical production, CCEI’s investigation into the nature of metal oxides might potentially lead to the discovery of even better, more selective catalysts.

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KEEPING THINGS MOVING

CCEI researchers at UD have outlined a strategy to create renewable lubricants from non-food biomass, such as woodchips (above), grass, and other organic waste.

UD researchers synthesize renewable oils for use in lubricants

Feb. 01, 2019

Researchers at the University of Delaware-led Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI) and investigators from its partner institutions are working to solve these problems. Their findings report a strategy to create renewable lubricant base oils efficiently from non-food biomass — things like wood, switchgrass and other sustainable, organic waste — and fatty acids, which are present in used vegetable oils and animal fat.

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GREENER HYDROGEN FROM WATER

Feng Jiao, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and associate director of the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology at UD, in his lab.

CCST’s Feng Jiao, explores catalysts that pull their weight and serve the environment

Jan. 03, 2019

Jiao, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and associate director of the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology at UD, wasn’t always interested in water electrolysis, which uses electricity to reduce water into hydrogen gas and oxygen molecules. When he first joined the UD faculty in 2010, his research program focused on the energy storage capability of batteries.

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CATALYZING EXCELLENCE

Bingjun Xu, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, is pictured with a tool his research group developed to determine the oxidation state of catalysts.

Bingjun Xu recognized as an influential researcher

Nov. 05, 2018

The University of Delaware’s Bingjun Xu has been named to the 2018 Class of Influential Researchers by the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemical Research. He is one of 29 scientists and engineers from eight different countries to make the list.

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A BIG SPARK FOR ENERGY RESEARCH

Dion Vlachos is the director of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation and the Allan and Myra Ferguson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UD.

U.S. Department of Energy announces $12.8 million for UD-led center

Sep. 06, 2018

The University of Delaware has won a $12.8 million, four-year funding renewal from the U.S. Department of Energy for the continued operation of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI). The center involves scientists from academic institutions and national laboratories across the U.S. in developing catalytic technologies — the spurs that move chemical reactions along — for converting biomass, such as trees and grasses, into chemicals and fuels.

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