Hoboken, New Jersey - The Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, and Eindhoven University, the Netherlands, have been awarded a US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study gold and silver catalytic nanoparticles for green chemistry and sustainability.
The collaboration will combine novel experimental and computational methodologies at Stevens with unique chemical reaction testing capabilities at Eindhoven, Stevens Institute said in a 12 April news release.
A recently published review in Science magazine entitled "Green Gold Catalysis" cites a high potential for new processes based on gold nanoparticles for propylene oxide, as well as other chemicals.
The current production level of propylene oxide alone in the world is 18 billion lbs per year with a consistent annual growth rate of 5 percent, Stevens Institute said.
Since propylene oxide is mostly produced with either the multi-stage chlorohydrin process with salty waste streams and chlorinated byproducts or with another multi-stage energy-inefficient process with an aromatic byproduct, development of new green technologies is urgent and essential for sustainability.
The international team will investigate oxygen's interaction with gold and silver nanoparticles at the molecular level.
"This project takes advantage of the distinctive capabilities of the collaborating universities in an ambitious and critical research track that creates wonderful learning opportunities for students," says Dr Henry Du, director of the chemical engineering & materials science department at the Stevens Institute.