Research Areas

Catalysis Science

Notice: NOVEMBER 16, 2015 is the Catalysis Science target date for submission of proposals to be considered for funding within fiscal year 2016. Proposals received after that date will be reviewed but may not be considered for funding within fiscal year 2016. Preproposals or white papers are strongly encouraged for all new proposals. Preproposal submission through PAMS is described in pages 42-on of the current Open FOA titled “Continuation of Solicitation.pdf file (394KB)” and can be submitted anytime, at least a month before the intended proposal submission date.

This research area develops the fundamental scientific principles enabling rational catalyst design and chemical transformation control. Research includes the identification of the elementary steps of catalytic reaction mechanisms and their kinetics; construction of catalytic sites at the atomic level; synthesis of ligands, metal clusters, and bio-inspired reaction centers designed to tune molecular-level catalytic activity and selectivity; the study of structure-reactivity relationships of inorganic, organic, or hybrid catalytic materials in solution or supported on solids; the dynamics of catalyst structure relevant to catalyst stability; the experimental determination of potential energy landscapes for catalytic reactions; the development of novel spectroscopic techniques and structural probes for in-operando characterization of the dynamics of catalytic processes; and the development of theory, modeling, and simulation of catalytic pathways. Dedicated laboratory equipment and special computational resources will be provided on a case by case basis. Inquire with the program managers as to the appropriateness of the request.

Catalytic transformations impact an enormous range of DOE mission areas. Particular emphasis is placed on catalysis relevant to the conversion and use of fossil and renewable energy resources and the creation of advanced chemicals. Catalysts are vital in the conversion of natural gas, crude petroleum and biomass into clean burning fuels and materials. They control the electrocatalytic upgrading of chemicals and the conversion of fuels in fuel cells and batteries and play important roles in the photocatalytic conversion of energy into chemicals and materials. Catalysts are crucial to creating new, energy-efficient routes for the production of basic chemical feedstocks and value-added chemicals. Environmental applications of catalytic science include the remediation of greenhouse gases, minimization of unwanted products and transformation of toxic chemicals into benign ones.

To obtain more information about this research area, please see our Core Research Area descriptions and the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart.pdf file (47KB) and budget request.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Viviane Schwartz, Dr. Charles Peden, or Dr. Raul Miranda.

Last modified: 10/22/2015 3:36:42 PM