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Dumesic Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Photo of James Dumesic IACT researcher James Dumesic, Steenbock Professor and Michel Boudart Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been elected a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Read more.

DOE-BES Summary Report Released

The U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences (BES) recently released a Summary Report discussing the nature and impact of the research and scientific user facilities that BES supports. The section discussing the Energy Frontier Research Centers and Energy Innovation Hubs features a photo of IACT researchers Peter Stair and Justin Notestein along with graduate students Cassandra George and Zhenyu Bo in a Northwestern University research laboratory.

Two Metals Are Better Than One

Photo of Jeffrey Elam Bimetallic nanoparticles – tiny grains a few dozen to hundreds of atoms in size – hold tremendous promise as catalysts for a number of different applications, according to IACT researcher Jeffrey Elam, a chemist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. However, until now researchers lacked a precise and flexible general method for creating them. Read the story.

Dumesic and Huber Named by Biofuels Digest as Top People in the Bioeconomy

Photo of James Dumesic Photo of George Huber IACT researchers James Dumesic and George Huber were named two of the Top 100 People in the Bioeconomy for 2013-14 by the readers and editors of Biofuels Digest. See the full list.

Mavrikakis Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society

Photo of Manos Mavrikakis Manos Mavrikakis, Paul A. Elfers Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been elected as a 2014 Fellow of the American Physical Society for his outstanding contributions to the development and use of density functional theory in the fundamental understanding of the site-specific chemical reactions and the determination and design of new catalytic materials.

Ribeiro Named Norris and Eleanor Shreve Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University

Photo of Fabio Ribeiro Purdue University's Board of Trustees recently named IACT researcher Fabio Ribeiro as the University's Norris and Eleanor Shreve Professor of Chemical Engineering. Ribeiro was enthusiastically endorsed for the position by the School of Chemical Engineering's Distinguished and Named professors.

Dr. R. Norris Shreve was a distinguished member of Purdue's Chemical Engineering faculty from 1930 to 1955 and served as the Head of the Chemical Engineering School from 1947 to 1951. The Shreve Professorship is funded by the Norris and Eleanor Shreve Trust.

Researchers Hope Better Catalysts Lead to Better Ways of Converting Biomass to Fuel

image of green gas pump hose and nozzle with leaves coming out of it Scientists and entrepreneurs of old spent millennia trying to transmute lead into gold. Today, a new and more intellectually rigorous kind of alchemy has begun to produce important benefits for an economy that still relies heavily on fossil fuels. For the past four years, researchers at the Argonne-led Institute for Atom-Efficient Chemical Transformations (IACT) have been searching for ways to improve the efficiency and selectivity of catalysts. Read more.

IACT's Research Featured on Department of Energy's Bioenery Technologies Office Blog

IACT's work to advance the use of biomass as a viable energy resource was featured in an April 15, 2013 post to the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office's Blog.

Poeppelmeier Appointed Director of Northwestern's Center for Catalysis and Surface Science

photo of Kenneth Poeppelmeier IACT team member Kenneth Poeppelmeier (Northwestern University) has been appointed the new director of Northwestern University's Center for Catalysis and Surface Science. Professor Poeppelmeier is also the Associate Division Director for Science in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory.

Nanoscale 'Goldilocks' Phenomenon Could Improve Biofuel Production

stylized nanobowl graphic IACT's nanobowl research is featured in a recent Argonne news story about its implications for biofuel production. According to IACT researcher and Argonne chemist Jeffrey Elam, “Nanobowls are intended to mimic the selective enzymes found in nature. We can tailor the nanobowl size and shape to accept certain molecules and reject others.”

Greeley Joins Faculty at Purdue University

photo of Jeffrey Greeley IACT researcher Jeffrey Greeley has moved from Argonne National Laboratory to Purdue University, where he serves as Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. He will continue to serve as a member of the IACT research staff. Read more about Greeley's new assignment and research group.

Selective Oxide Catalyst Research Featured in CEP

photo of Justin Notestein IACT's selective nonporous oxide catalyst research was featured in the Update section of the December 2012 issue of CEP magazine. Developed by Justin Notestein's group at Northwestern University, the IACT method uses atomic layer deposition to add thin, porous layers onto the surface of oxide catalyst particles, controlling which reactants can reach the catalyst. The full story is available to American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) members through the magazine's web site.

Nanobowls Developed by IACT Researchers Featured in Newswise Story

photo of Jeffrey Elam A story about IACT's nanobowl research was featured in Newswise on October 26, 2012. The research was presented by Jeffrey Elam's Argonne team at the American Vacuum Society (AVS) 59th International Symposium and Exhibition.

IACT Research Features in Chemical & Engineering News

photo of Christian Canlas photo of Justin Notestein A templating process developed by Christian Canlas (left) in the IACT research team led by Justin Notestein (right) at Northwestern University is featured in the October 29, 2012, issue of Chemical & Engineering News.

O'Neill and Dietrich Join DOE EFRC Editorial Board

photo of Brandon O'Neill photo of Paul Dietrich IACT graduate students Brandon O'Neill (left, University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Paul Dietrich (right, Purdue University) have been appointed to the editorial board of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) newsletter. In this capacity, Brandon and Paul are serving as both board reviewers and as advocacy reviewers, working directly with the EFRC Editor, to review all of the articles before they are sent for DOE review.

Huber Joins IACT Staff

photo of George Huber IACT is pleased to welcome Professor George Huber of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to IACT's research staff. He will be working on Reaction Testing and Mechanisms.

IACT Nanobio Catalyst Research in the News

IACT's research into bimetallic core-shell catalysts is featured in news stories on Phys.Org and Argonne's Advanced Photon Source web site.

Kuech Promoted to Chair of University of Wisconsin's Chemical Engineering Department

photo of Thomas Kuech IACT Researcher Thomas Kuech has been promoted to Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin. We wish Tom the best of luck in this position!

Mavrikakis Named Editor in Chief of Surface Science

photo of Manos Mavrikakis IACT researcher Manos Mavrikakis, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named Editor-in-Chief of the journal Surface Science, effective July 1, 2012. He has been a member of the journal's editorial board since 2008 and serves on the editorial boards of four other journals. For more information about Dr. Mavrikakis' appointment, please see

Zhang Receives Young Scientist Award

photo of Jing Zhang Jing Zhang, most recently an IACT postdoctoral appointee, received a Young Scientist Award at the International Conference on Catalysis (ICC) held in Munich, Germany July 1-6, 2012. Zhang has completed her appointment at IACT and is now a Professor at the School of Chemistry and Material Sciences Liaoning Shihua University, Fushun, Liaoning, China.

Stair Promoted to Chair of Northwestern's Chemistry Department

photo of Peter Stair IACT Deputy Director Peter Stair has been promoted to Chair of the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University. We wish Peter the best of luck in this position!

Two IACT Research Efforts Featured in Chemical and Engineering News

The June 11, 2012 issue of Chemical and Engineering News featured stories about IACT research work.

The first story, about work catalyzing the isomerization of sugars via reaction pathways using Lewis acid zeolites, done by IACT researchers Rajeev Assary and Larry Curtiss and researchers from other institutions, appeared at The associated journal article about this research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The second story, about how depolymerized lignin makes a good solvent, focusing on work done by IACT researchers James Dumesic and Yomaira Pagán-Torres and other researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, appeared at The associated journal article about this research appears in Green Chemistry.

IACT's Alumina Nanocoatings Research Featured on American Ceramics Society and Chemical and Engineering News Web Sites

A recent paper by IACT researchers Junling Lu, Mayfair Kung, Jeffrey Elam, and Peter Stair titled "Coking- and Sintering-Resistant Palladium Catalysts Achieved Through Atomic Layer Deposition" is featured on the American Ceramics Society and Chemical and Engineering News web sites. Harold Kung of Northwestern University, a member of the Center for Electrical Energy Storage staff, was also a contributor. The research, which may contribute to greater chemical manufacturing efficiencies, was reported at the Spring 2012 meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego.

IACT's Catalysis Work Featured in Spring 2012 Issue of TransForum

IACT's catalysis work is featured in the Spring 2012 issue of TransForum, the news magazine of Argonne's Transportation Technology R&D Center. The story starts on page 9.

Profile of Jeff Greeley Featured on Agonne National Laboratory's Web site

IACT research Jeff Greeley, who recently received an Early Career Research Award from the US Department of Energy, is featured in a new profile on Argonne National Laboratory's web site. The profile is also available as a PDF (216 kb).

IACT Research Featured in Chemical & Engineering News Story

Research conducted by researchers within the Institute for Atom-efficient Chemical Transformations (IACT) was featured in a recent story in Chemical & Engineering News (CEN) story about atomic layer deposition (ALD) (August 1, 2011, p 38).

The research, conducted by IACT researchers Jeffrey Miller, Jeffrey Elam, Hao Feng, Joseph Libera, and Peter Stair, focused on preparing uniform-sized palladium particles using ALD. It was highlighted as one of the exciting new applications of ALD.

The cited research was originally documented in ACS Catalysis 1(6): 665–673 (2011).

Natalie Ray Named to DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers Newsletter Editorial Board

photo of Natalie Ray Natalie Ray, an IACT graduate student from Northwestern University who is working with Peter Stair on Synthesis, has been named to the editorial board for the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) electronic newsletter. Board members are responsible for creating a theme for each issue that expresses a point of view in energy research, and for writing and acquiring summaries of recently published research articles and showcasing accomplishments of EFRC members. The appointment lasts for six to nine months.

First Annual IACT Internal Review Meeting Held

ACT held its first annual internal review meeting on January 17th and 18th, 2011, at Argonne National Laboratory.  Approximately 60 people attended along with six members of IACT's Advisory Board. Images of the event are presented in the slide show below.

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IACT to Host Workshop at Northwestern University on November 22, 2010

IACT will host an afternoon workshop on Monday, November 22, at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, during which participants from several universities will gather to share updates on research that is being performed at the Center. The workshop will run from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Allen Center, McCormick Tribune Auditorium, Evanston, IL. A similar workshop hosted by the Center for Electrical Energy Storage at Argonne will be hosted at the same location that morning. See the program flier (PDF, 970kb) for more information, or the registration site to RSVP.

Lei Cheng to Collaborate with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Researchers

photo of Lei Cheng Dr. Lei Cheng, an IACT postdoctoral associate working with Larry Curtiss, will spend two months (October 1 to November 30) working with Professor Dr. Joachim Sauer's group at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin learning their latest computational treatment/methods (hybrid DFT:MP2) for zeolite catalysis. These techniques can be applied for more accurate computational mechanistic studies of biomass catalytic reactions occurring in zeolites as well as oxide nanobowls, providing valuable information on nature of active sites and predict more efficient catalytic structures and compositions. The collaboration between the German Cluster of Excellence "Unifying Concepts in Catalysis" (Unicat), located in Berlin, Germany, and IACT is the first of a planned series of collaborations aimed at improving the effectiveness of research at both institutions.


April 2014

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