The broader impact/commercial potential of this Partnerships for Innovation - Technology Translation (PFI-TT) project is to develop an emission control prototype product with novel, surface-engineered catalysts for exhaust abatement. Clean air represents a significant societal benefit. Various mobile and stationary emission control systems are included in current solutions to reduce adverse environmental and health impacts. The adoption of support-promoted and surface-engineered catalysts with low temperature activity can have a global impact for the industrial applications in automotive catalytic converters and many industrial operations including electrical power plants, refineries and chemical plants, and surface coating facilities. Personnel involved in this project includes one graduate student and undergraduate students, who will gain innovation, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship experience.

This project combines a continuous thermal spray inline coating technology with surface-engineered catalytic washcoat materials to enable a 90% pollutant emission conversion rate below 150 C in automotive catalytic converters. Current emission control catalysts are relatively ineffective during the cold start period because the cold start temperature is lower than the light-off temperature of catalysts, leading to significant levels of pollutants emitted into the ambient air. By tuning the shapes and surface defects of cerium oxide (CeO2) supports and activating the metal-support interface, the surface-engineered catalysts offer low energy barriers for the formation of key intermediates and open reaction pathways as well as an increase in active sites for pollutant gas conversion at lower temperature. This project will apply the advantages of the continuous thermal spray technology to provide rapid, scalable production with high precision and controlled coating thickness, significantly reduced waste relative to conventional wet-chemical batch processes, reduction or elimination of harmful organic solvents, and fully integrated one-step production.

This project is jointly funded by Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
United States
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