Our Research

Next generation technologies

Hydrocarbons (e.g. natural gas), nitrogen, oxygen, and water generate the majority of the world's energy and materials. Unfortunately, the current processes for these molecules are inefficient, expensive and operate at high temperatures that waste energy and generate excessive amounts of carbon dioxide. Facing critical environmental and economic issues, we must find ways to reduce excessive emissions and conserve these precious natural resources.

At the Scripps Energy & Materials Center, we are working on fundamentally new chemistry that will enable development of next generation technologies that will operate at lower temperatures and more efficiently convert these key molecules into materials and energy. Our approach is based on the rational, de novo, design of new catalysts through a process involving conceptual design, computational study, and experimental discovery.

Lower temperature chemistry

Next generation catalysts are the key to new, lower temperature processes. Catalysts are sophisticated materials that increase the speed of chemistry at lower temperatures and are utilized in very small amounts. There are currently no catalysts that can efficiently convert natural gas, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, or water at lower temperatures. The Scripps Energy & Materials Center is addressing these challenges by designing new catalysts to convert these molecules into the products that you depend on daily.