The Daily Evergreen

Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

Pollutant-reducing reaction will operate better with new car exhaust components

Yong+Wang%2C+Voiland+School+of+Chemical+Engineering+and+Bioengineering+professor%2C+says+his+research+team+has+discovered+a+process+that+can+reduce+pollutants+emitted+at+low+temperatures.+The+team%2C+headed+by+Wang%2C+focuses+on+%E2%80%9Cdeveloping+safer%2C+greener+and+more+efficient+catalytic+processes.%E2%80%9D+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

Yong Wang, Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering professor, says his research team has discovered a process that can reduce pollutants emitted at low temperatures. The team, headed by Wang, focuses on “developing safer, greener and more efficient catalytic processes.”

Yong Wang, Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering professor, says his research team has discovered a process that can reduce pollutants emitted at low temperatures. The team, headed by Wang, focuses on “developing safer, greener and more efficient catalytic processes.”

JACOB BERTRAM | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Yong Wang, Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering professor, says his research team has discovered a process that can reduce pollutants emitted at low temperatures. The team, headed by Wang, focuses on “developing safer, greener and more efficient catalytic processes.”

JACOB BERTRAM | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

JACOB BERTRAM | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Yong Wang, Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering professor, says his research team has discovered a process that can reduce pollutants emitted at low temperatures. The team, headed by Wang, focuses on “developing safer, greener and more efficient catalytic processes.”

HANNAH WELZBACKER, Evergreen reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A WSU researcher has partnered with colleagues from the University of New Mexico and the Eindhoven University of Technology to develop a catalyst used in vehicle exhaust emissions that can withstand high temperatures and reduce pollutants at low temperatures.

Abhaya Datye, a professor in the University of New Mexico department of chemical and biological engineering, said catalytic converters are used in vehicles to clean up pollutants.

Catalytic converters use rare metals like platinum in a chemical reaction to convert carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides into non-toxic nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water.

Yong Wang, Voiland College of Engineering and Bioengineering professor, said as cars become more efficient to meet new fuel standards, less heat is wasted in the exhaust. This makes it harder to clean up emitted pollutants.

Datye said a few years ago the group discovered a certain way of making the catalyst called atom trapping, which allows the researchers to disperse the platinum in its atomic form.

“In other words, if I make a particle, a nanoparticle, for example, some of the atoms are inside the particle and some are on the surface,” Datye said. “Only those items on the surface are doing the reaction.”

He said in order to make the surface larger they must continue to shrink the size to get more usable atoms on the surface. Shrinking the particle to 10 nanometers only allows for 10 percent of the atoms on the surface.

Atom trapping also reduces the amount of platinum required, which would reduce overall costs since platinum has several uses, Datye said.

In their latest work, published in the Nature Communications journal, Wang said the researchers attached platinum ions to cerium oxide, which makes the reaction stable at high temperatures. This process, however, made them less active.

To solve this, the researchers found a way to activate the catalyst using carbon monoxide at 275 degrees Celsius.

“Now it starts working at room temperature when in the past platinum catalysts had to be heated to 200 degrees Celsius to make them work,” Datye said.

He said they attempted to understand why the particles became superactive and found it was related to oxygen being transferred from the cerium oxide support to the catalyst site.

Emiel Hensen, catalyst professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology, analyzed the samples using a powerful tool that looked at the surface of the catalysts.

“We found a way to tune the interaction between the platinum and the support to make the support more readily provide the oxygen at low temperatures that were needed to facilitate the reaction,” Datye said.

He said their work is of great interest to catalyst manufacturers to understand how it functions and apply it to different things. Their goal is to use the same ideas elsewhere to clean up different processes.

About the Writer
HANNAH WELZBACKER, Evergreen reporter

Hannah is a senior science communication major from Seabeck, Washington. 

Leave a Comment

Social Media Policy

The Office of Student Media

The purpose of the comment section is to foster courteous and constructive discussion of relevant issues. The Daily Evergreen staff reserve the right to delete any comment we deem at odds with that mission.

We want to establish a fair and open forum for discussion, but personal attacks and threats of any kind actively take away from that purpose. Once we delete a comment we will explain both in the post and through a personal message to the sender as to why it didn’t meet our standards. We will also add a link to our social media policy page on our website. We cannot allow comments that could possibly keep others from speaking their mind on our page.

Prohibited comments include:

  • Comments with directed profanity, bullying, spam, false or misleading statements
  • Comments that could cause physical and emotional harm to any person
  • Offensive language targeted toward a specific group of people
  • Comments that are off-topic
  • Comments that are racist, sexist or bigoted
  • Comments by students working for The Office of Student Media, unless authorized





Navigate Left
  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Faculty

    Professor devotes career to on-campus causes

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Faculty

    Senators to vote on recommendations on titles

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Administration

    Guest speaker calls for more diversity at WSU

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Faculty

    Faculty raises concerns on proposed title changes

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Administration

    Vet Med dean will resign by the end of the year

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Faculty

    Student regent reflects on role, looks to future

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Administration

    Service guide to help faculty deal with student issues

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Faculty

    Library displays history of veterinary medicine at WSU

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Faculty

    Hospital CEO introduces health care plan to senate

  • Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures

    Faculty

    Pollution affects health, physician says

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Every student. Every story. Every day.
Researchers create catalyst to work in low temperatures