Catalysing research: Department of Chemistry recommended for two Department of Energy grants
Two DOE awards have been recommended for funding two Georgetown University faculty – each in the area of electrocatalysis, the interconversion of electrical and chemical energy.
Prof. YuYe Tong’s proposal “Exploring Electrocatalysis of Methane on Transition Metal Surfaces” was recommended for funding at $550K from September 2020 to August 2023 by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
YuYe is an expert in Analytical Chemistry, Physical Electrochemistry, in situ Spectroelectrochemistry, the synthesis of metal-based nanomaterials, and fuel-cell related electrocatalysis and clean energy science. He is also the Director of the Environmental Metrology & Policy Program at Georgetown University. His research focuses on methane as a potent greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide but with 20 times the heat-absorbing capacity, whose atmospheric concentration has been increasing steadily due to anthropogenic livestock farming, coal and natural gas mining, and the decomposition of organic matter in landfills. His project aims to develop potentially game-changing electrocatalysts that can convert methane directly to methanol, a valuable commodity, in a sustainable way.
Prof. Tim Warren’s renewal “Catalytic Interconversion of Ammonia and Dinitrogen at Base Metals” was recommended for funding at $550K from September 2020 to August 2023 by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
Tim is the Richard D. Vorisek Professor of Chemistry in the College and co-chair of the Georgetown Environment Initiative. His research focuses on ammonia, best known as a fertilizer, but also a carbon-free fuel that produces only benign byproducts: nitrogen and water. Moreover, the synthesis of ammonia from water and nitrogen in the air can be used to store energy from renewable, yet intermittent power sources such as solar and wind. This work develops new molecular electrocatalysts required to efficiently store and extract electrical energy using the compound.