Researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering recently published work that may further pollution abatement.

The paper, published in ACS Catalysis was a collaboration between the labs of associate professors Ayman Karim and Hongliang Xin.

Catalysts are materials widely used in industry to speed reactions for many applications, including making fuels, drugs, and for cleaning up the exhaust of cars. The catalysts typically contain expensive metals and, therefore, need to be very efficient.

Hongliang Xin. Photo by Peter Means for Virginia Tech.

The work by the Virginia Tech group advances the understanding of how every single atom of the metal can be used as a catalyst by studying the dynamic evolution of the metal coordination during the oxidation of carbon monoxide -- an important reaction for pollution abatement. The work will help in the design of better and more cost-efficient catalysts.

Because of its potential for broad public interest in the development of catalysts for environmental applications, the paper was selected as an ACS Editors' Choice publicationThe editors' choice initiative highlights one article each day that is chosen from the entire ACS portfolio.