Issue Date: February 23, 2009
Praise For Energy's Catalysis Research
The Department of Energy's Catalysis Science program plays a key role in the advancement of basic catalysis research, and its efforts are helping the nation meet its energy goals, according to a National Academies report released on Feb 12. The report states that DOE has "done well with its investments in basic catalysis research" and that it should continue its current approach for allocating funding. This is a "significant conclusion," says Jens K. Nørskov, cochair of the report's committee and professor at NanoDTU, the nanotechnology center of the Technical University of Denmark. "I find this particularly impressive given the limited funding available," she tells C&EN. In addition to praise, the report offers DOE suggestions for improving the program. In the area of homogeneous catalysis research, the report suggests that the research portfolio include more development of new catalytic systems and reactions. For heterogeneous catalysis, there needs to be a stronger emphasis on studies that explore catalyst design and new synthesis methods, unique reactor systems and characterization techniques, and completely new chemical reactions, the report says.
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