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Title: Development of Molecular Electrocatalysts for Energy Storage

Molecular electrocatalysts can play an important role in energy storage and utilization reactions needed for intermittent renewable energy sources. This manuscript describes three general themes that our laboratories have found useful in the development of molecular electrocatalysts for reduction of CO 2 to CO and for H 2 oxidation and production. The first theme involves a conceptual partitioning of catalysts into first, second, and outer coordination spheres. This is illustrated with the design of electrocatalysts for CO 2 reduction to CO using first and second coordination spheres and for H 2 production catalysts using all three coordination spheres. The second theme focuses on the development of thermodynamic models that can be used to design catalysts to avoid high energy and low energy intermediates. In this research, new approaches to the measurement of thermodynamic hydride donor and acceptor abilities of transition metal complexes were developed. Combining this information with other thermodynamic information such as pKa values and redox potentials led to more complete thermodynamic descriptions of transition metal hydride, dihydride, and related species. Relationships extracted from this information were then used to develop models that are powerful tools for predicting and understanding the relative free energies of intermediates in catalytic reactions.more » The third theme is the control of proton movement during electrochemical fuel generation and utilization reactions. This research involves the incorporation of pendant amines in the second coordination sphere that can facilitate H-H bond heterolysis and heteroformation, intramolecular and intermolecular proton transfer steps, and the coupling of proton and electron transfer steps. Studies also indicate an important role for outer coordination sphere in the delivery of protons to the second coordination sphere. Understanding these proton transfer reactions and their associated energy barriers are key to the design of faster and more efficient molecular electrocatalysts for energy storage. Funding for the research described in this manuscript was provided as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science and through individual grants from the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Biosciences, and Geosciences. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.« less
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0020-1669; KC0302010; KC0307010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Inorganic Chemistry; Journal Volume: 53; Journal Issue: 8
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States