A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and University of Massachusetts Amherst has discovered new technology that can speed up chemical reactions 10,000 times faster than the current reaction rate limit.
These findings could increase the speed and lower the cost of thousands of chemical processes used in developing fertilizers, foods, fuels, plastics, and more.
The research is published online in ACS Catalysis, a leading journal of the American Chemical Society.
In chemical reactions, scientists use what are called catalysts to speed reactions. A reaction occurring on a catalyst surface, such as a metal, will speed up, but it can only go as fast as permitted by what is called the Sabatier’s principle. Often called the “Goldilocks principle” of catalysis, the best possible catalyst aims to perfectly balance two parts of a chemical reaction. Reacting molecules should stick to a metal surface to react neither too strong nor too weakly, but “just right.” Since this principle was established quantitatively in 1960, the Sabatier maximum has remained the catalytic speed limit.
Researchers of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, found that they could break the speed limit by applying waves to the catalyst to create an oscillating catalyst. The wave has a top and bottom, and when applied, it permits both parts of a chemical reaction to occur independently at different speeds. When the wave applied to the catalyst surface matched the natural frequency of a chemical reaction, the rate went up dramatically via a mechanism called “resonance.”
“We realized early on that catalysts need to change with time, and it turns out that kilohertz to megahertz frequencies dramatically accelerate catalyst rates,” said Paul Dauenhauer, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota and one of the authors of the study.
The catalytic speed limit, or Sabatier maximum, is only accessible for a few metal catalysts. Other metals that have weaker or stronger binding exhibit slower reaction rate. For this reason, plots of catalyst reaction rate versus metal type have been called “volcano-shaped plots” with the best static catalyst existing right in the middle at the volcano peak.
“The best catalysts need to rapidly flip between strong and weak binding conditions on both sides of the volcano diagram,” said Alex Ardagh, post-doctoral scholar in the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation. “If we flip binding strength quickly enough, catalysts that jump between strong and weak binding actually perform above the catalytic speed limit.”
The ability to accelerate chemical reactions directly affects thousands of chemical and materials technologies used to develop fertilizers, foods, fuels, plastics, and more. In the past century, these products have been optimized using static catalysts such as supported metals. Enhanced reaction rates could significantly reduce the amount of equipment required to manufacture these materials and lower the overall costs of many everyday materials.
Dramatic enhancement in catalyst performance also has the potential to scale down systems for distributed and rural chemical processes. Due to cost savings in large-scale conventional catalyst systems, most materials are only manufactured in enormous centralized locations such as refineries. Faster dynamic systems can be smaller processes, which can be located in rural locations such as farms, ethanol plants, or military installations.
“This has the potential to completely change the way we manufacture almost all of our most basic chemicals, materials, and fuels,” said Professor Dionisios Vlachos, director of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation. “The transition from conventional to dynamic catalysts will be as big as the change from direct to alternating current electricity.”
To read the full research paper, entitled “Principles of Dynamic Heterogeneous Catalysis: Surface Resonance and Turnover Frequency Response,” visit the ACS Catalysis website.
The discovery of dynamic resonance in catalysis is part of a larger mission of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, a U.S. Department of Energy-Energy Frontier Research Center, led by the University of Delaware. Initiated in 2009, the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation has focused on transformational catalytic technology to produce renewable chemicals and biofuels via advanced nanomaterials. Learn more on the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation website.
Learn more: Research Brief: Energy researchers break the catalytic speed limit
The Latest on: Dynamic catalysts
[google_news title=”” keyword=”dynamic catalysts” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Dynamic catalysts
- Giants’ Brian Daboll was the catalyst behind landing Parris Campbell in free agencyon March 23, 2023 at 9:43 am
The New York Giants bolstered their receiving corps this offseason, bringing in WR Parris Campbell. Big Blue signed the dynamic wideout to a one-year, incentive-laden contract for the 2023 season.
- Global Environmental Catalyst Market: Future Extrapolations and Emerging Updates for 2023-2027on March 23, 2023 at 1:22 am
The "Environmental Catalyst Market" research report is a comprehensive study that provides valuable insights into ...
- RM4.2bil park catalyst for growthon March 22, 2023 at 7:54 pm
A NEW RM4.2bil technology park focused on high-technology industries is set to become a catalyst for economic growth in the region, especially Penang mainland, says Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow ...
- Here's the Number Medical Properties Trust Investors Should Watch Like a Hawkon March 22, 2023 at 2:52 am
I suspect that many investors have focused on two numbers, in particular, when it comes to Medical Properties Trust (MPW -6.21%). One is 67%. That's how much Medical Properties Tr ...
- Digital transformation – a catalyst for green and sustainable modelson March 21, 2023 at 5:41 pm
Digital transformation is considered a catalyst for many businesses to transform and adapt to green and sustainable models. Recently, dual transformation (green and digital) has been mentioned by the ...
- Hydro-processing Catalysts Market Analysis: Understanding the Current State and Future Trends 2023-2028on March 21, 2023 at 3:11 am
The newly updated research report on the Hydro-processing Catalysts Market for the years 2023-2028. The report with 94 pages and offers essential statistics, data, and information ...
- Johnell Davis Poses Problems For Tennesseeon March 20, 2023 at 9:30 pm
Florida Atlantic is not short of dynamic offensive weapons. However, Johnell Davis provides explosive offense that the Tennessee Volunteers must watch out for.
- 'A catalyst': New Haven-area professors on COVID-related changes, 3 years lateron March 17, 2023 at 10:10 pm
A view of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Conn., on Friday Aug. 7, 2020. NEW HAVEN — From the outside, college campuses probably look like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic: no ...
- Health Catalyst: Riding A Steady Trendon March 15, 2023 at 9:10 am
Health Catalyst, Inc. has some strong market trends pushing it forward, and with a strong market presence I think the future seems very bright. What propels Health Catalyst's top-line growth is ...
- Will 5G be the catalyst for AdTech space? Here is howon March 14, 2023 at 9:50 am
According to a Deloitte report, India’s digital economy is estimated to touch USD 1 trillion by 2025. This growth will be achievable through increased smartphone adoption, rapid internet penetration, ...
via Bing News