New chemical catalysts enable more sustainable and efficient manufacturing processes


Chemical catalysts are substances that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed in the process. They are widely used in the manufacturing of many products, from pharmaceuticals to plastics. However, most of the catalysts used today are made from precious metals, such as platinum and palladium, which are expensive and rare. Moreover, many of these catalysts are toxic and can cause environmental damage if not properly handled. Recently, researchers have been working on developing new catalysts that are more sustainable and efficient. One promising approach is the use of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are porous materials made of metal ions and organic ligands. MOFs have shown great potential as catalysts because they have large surface areas and can be tailored to specific chemical reactions. In a recent study published in the journal Science, a team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reported the development of a new class of MOF-based catalysts that can be used for a wide range of chemical reactions, including the production of fuels and chemicals from renewable sources.