Catalyst discovery potential has to revolutionize chemical industry

Sep 26, 2011

University of Alberta Chemistry Professor Steve Bergens and his graduate student Jeremy Johns have discovered a catalyst that has the potential to revolutionise the chemical industry by reducing its environmental footprint, improving efficiency and minimizing risks.

Their findings were published in a top international chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie this month and provide the chemical industry with a potential solution to issues surrounding economics, efficiency and .

"Our findings are a game changer that people having been seeking an answer to for decades," said Bergens.

Bergen said researchers have been working for more than 50 years to find a "clean" and stable that produces little to no waste and also has a capacity to provide multiple turnovers. In February of this year his student Jeremy Johns created such a catalyst in his laboratory.

"After years of producing disappointing results I was thrilled to see the results that came out of this particular experiment," said Dr Bergens.

"The chemical industry is making huge efforts to reduce its and their economists and accountants are also looking to reduce the cost of not just transporting catalyst but improving its efficiency," said Dr Bergens.

He said the February 2011 discovery opens numerous doors to make these things happen for industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to agrochemicals.

"Catalysts are notoriously unstable and challenging to transport, and the waste products the reactions to produce chemicals produce are equally challenging," Bergens added.

John's catalyst only produces as a waste, something that is easy to burn off or react to produce water.

Bergens says early indications are the catalyst is not just safe but also efficient. The researchers have pushed the experiment to produce 7000 turnovers for one unit of catalyst.

"We are hugely excited , and the challenge now is to identify exactly how this catalyst is made up and how we can produce it in amounts to further advance this discovery," said Bergens.

Explore further: Team pioneers strategy for creating new materials

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Two catalysts are better than one

Jul 28, 2010

Much like two children in the back seat of a car, it can be challenging to get two catalysts to cooperate for the greater good. Now Northwestern University chemists have gotten two catalysts to work together on the same task ...

Nanotech discovery may green chemical manufacturing

Feb 16, 2010

A new nanotech catalyst developed by McGill University Chemists Chao-Jun Li, Audrey Moores and their colleagues offers industry an opportunity to reduce the use of expensive and toxic heavy metals. Catalysts are substances ...

Recommended for you

Team pioneers strategy for creating new materials

3 hours ago

Making something new is never easy. Scientists constantly theorize about new materials, but when the material is manufactured it doesn't always work as expected. To create a new strategy for designing materials, ...

Plug n' Play protein crystals

9 hours ago

Almost a hundred years ago in 1929 Linus Pauling presented the famous Pauling's Rules to describe the principles governing the structure of complex ionic crystals. These rules essentially describe how the ...

Breaking benzene

Aug 27, 2014

Aromatic compounds are found widely in natural resources such as petroleum and biomass, and breaking the carbon-carbon bonds in these compounds plays an important role in the production of fuels and valuable ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Corban
5 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2011
Article doesn't say what this is a catalyst for. Behold! http://onlinelibr...abstract
Callippo
not rated yet Sep 26, 2011
Just another ruthenium stuff... Ruthenium is five-times more expensive, than silver

http://www.taxfre...dollars.
PPihkala
not rated yet Sep 26, 2011
If the waste is hydrogen, they should store it or at least use the burning energy for something useful. Of course these are secondary issues to knowing what they have made the catalyst for and how it will change the industry.