Brookhaven researchers develop catalyst for extracting electricity from ethanol

September 29, 2021 |

In New York state, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Arkansas have developed a highly efficient catalyst for extracting electrical energy from ethanol, an easy-to-store liquid fuel that can be generated from renewable resources. The catalyst, described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, steers the electro-oxidation of ethanol down an ideal chemical pathway that releases the liquid fuel’s full potential of stored energy.

Much of ethanol’s potential power is locked up in the carbon-carbon bonds that form the backbone of the molecule. The catalyst developed by the group reveals that breaking those bonds at the right time is the key to unlocking that stored energy.

The new catalyst—which combines reactive elements in a unique core-shell structure that Brookhaven scientists have been exploring for a range of catalytic reactions—speeds up all of these steps.

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Category: Research

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