Institute for Atom-Efficient Chemical Transformations — an Energy Frontier Research Center

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Description

The Institute for Atom-Efficient Chemical Transformations (IACT) employs a multidisciplinary approach to address key catalytic conversions that could improve the efficiency of producing fuels from biomass. IACT focuses on advancing the science of catalysis for the efficient conversion of energy resources into usable forms. IACT's goal is to find ways to achieve control and efficiency of chemical conversions comparable to those in nature.

Achieving this goal will require new catalytic materials. A major emphasis of IACT is to synthesize new, complex, multisite, multifunctional catalytic materials that offer new models for catalysis. Using advanced computation and modeling to interpret, understand, and optimize experimental results is also a critical part of advancing catalytic science.

Left: Density functional calculated structure of a fructose molecule adsorbed in a zirconium oxide nanobowl. The brown atoms are surface oxygen and the coral atoms are zirconium. Carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms of fructose molecules are shown in black, red, and white, respectively.

Research Focus

IACT's research can be divided into four tasks:

  • Design and Synthesis
  • Characterization
  • Computational Studies
  • Evaluation and Mechanisms/Catalytic Experimentation

Using these approaches, IACT will address key chemistries associated with:

  • Clean, efficient utilization of the two main chemical energy resources in the United States, coal and biomass
  • Efficient removal of oxygen from biomass and coal, and the hydrogenation of these systems
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