Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ceria nanoparticles catalyze reactions for cleaner-fuel future

16.03.2005


Experiments on ceria (cerium oxide) nanoparticles carried out at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory may lead to catalytic converters that are better at cleaning up auto exhaust, and/or to more-efficient ways of generating hydrogen -- a promising zero-emission fuel for the future. Brookhaven chemist Jose Rodriguez will present results from two studies exploring the composition, structure, and reactivity of these versatile nanoparticles during the 229th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society on Tuesday, March 15, at 8:15 a.m. in room Del Mar A of the Hyatt Regency, San Diego, California.



After using a novel technique to synthesize the ceria nanoparticles, Rodriguez and coworkers Xianqin Wang and Jonathan Hanson used bright beams of x-rays at the National Synchrotron Light Source to study how their composition, structure, and reactivity changed in response to doping with zirconium in one case, and impregnation with gold in another. "In a catalytic converter, ceria acts as a buffer, absorbing or releasing oxygen, depending on the conditions of the engine, to maintain the catalyst in its optimum operating condition for converting harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide to carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas," Rodriguez said. Others have found that adding zirconium improves ceria’s ability to store and release oxygen.

The synchrotron studies at Brookhaven explain why: Zirconium changes the ceria’s structure to increase the number of oxygen "vacancies" -- or places for oxygen uptake and release. Furthermore, Rodriguez says, "The ceria nanoparticles we studied have much better performance, higher chemical reactivity, than the bulk form of ceria currently used in catalytic converters." Thus, this research holds promise for more-efficient catalytic converters -- and cleaner air.


In the second study, Wang, Hanson, and Rodriguez deposited gold on the surface of ceria nanoparticles and used x-rays at the synchrotron to determine the catalyst’s "active phase" -- the conformation responsible for the catalytic activity -- in the conversion of water and carbon monoxide to hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide. This "water-gas shift" reaction is important for generating hydrogen, which can be used for chemical transformations and as a fuel in a hydrogen-based economy. Hydrogen is one of the leading energy sources being investigated by scientists sponsored by the Department of Energy as part of its mission to ensure the nation’s future energy needs.

"In both cases, we are learning about the fundamental conditions necessary for optimal operation of the catalysts," Rodriguez said. "This kind of knowledge eventually will lead to a rational design of even more effective catalysts."

Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bnl.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>