Energy - clean, sustainable, affordable, environmentally responsible is the grand challenge of our time. It is critically important to focus on solutions that are scalable to levels that can make a measurable difference in energy supply, use, environmental impact, etc., while at the same time pursuing fundamental research that will supply the discoveries behind future technologies.
An important challenge is to increase the flexibility of our energy resources, particularly renewable resources, to meet the world?s needs for electricity, housing, manufacturing and transportation. Chemical fuels from a variety of sources will be a critical part of transportation solutions for decades to come. Catalysis is at the heart of fuel and chemicals production, and for more than a decade we have been pursuing catalyst design from nano-scale understanding of reaction mechanisms and their connection to catalyst sites. Current efforts in my lab focus on design of novel materials for selective formation of oxygen-containing products from biomass-derived feedstocks as well as from hydrocarbons, and new approaches to the utilization of nano-catalysts in unconventional reaction environments, including energy storage devices.
I also direct the University of Michigan Energy Institute (UMEI). The mission of UMEI is to chart the path to a clean, affordable and sustainable energy future by applying our strengths in science, technology, economics and policy to produce solutions to meet our energy challenges. The principal research thrusts of UMEI are:
Policy, economics and societal impact: Recognizing that pathways to the implementation of technological solutions is via public policy, economics and societal impact, UMEI is pursuing a comprehensive approach to overcoming barriers to the implementation of technical advances.
Carbon-free energy sources: With the top-ranked Nuclear Engineering department and a large and growing activity in solar energy materials science, we are addressing energy sources that minimize or eliminate the production of greenhouse gases. In addition to solar and nuclear energy, programs to tap wind and ocean energy are developing those sources for local deployment.
Energy storage and utilization: Energy storage is a limiting technology in the development of vehicles powered by batteries and hydrogen, as well as in the integration of intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar into the electric grid. The development of lightweight, cost-effective, high energy density batteries and research on hydrogen storage technologies are major focal points of our work.
Transportation systems and fuels: U-M is at the center of the world?s automotive industry and automotive engineering is the nation?s premiere program. The development of alternate power plants and fuels for transportation is a strong and growing program involving significant interaction with the automotive industry and growing interaction with the petrochemical industry. The conversion of fuels into more attractive forms is a major challenge in the move away from fossil fuel consumption for transportation.
J.-P. Tessonnier, S. Goubert-Renaudin, S. Alia, Y. Yan and M. A. Barteau, "Structure, Stability and Electronic Interactions of Polyoxometalates on Functionalized Graphene Sheets," Langmuir, 29, 393 (2013).
J.-P. Tessonnier, F. M. Haas, D. M. Dabbs, F. L. Dryer, R. A. Yetter and M. A. Barteau, "Polyoxometalate Clusters Supported on Functionalized Graphene Sheets as Nanohybrids for the Catalytic Combustion of Liquid Fuels," MRS Proceedings, 1451 (2012) mrss12-1451-dd18-04; doi: 10.1557/opl.2012.1457
J.-P. Tessonnier and M. A. Barteau, "Dispersion of Alkyl-Chain-Functionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide Sheets in Nonpolar Solvents," Langmuir, 28, 6691 (2012).
W. Yu, Z. Mellinger, M. A. Barteau and J. G. Chen, "Comparison of Reaction Pathways of Ethylene Glycol, Acetaldehyde and Acetic Acid on Tungsten Carbide (WC) and Ni-modified WC Surfaces," Journal of Physical Chemistry, 116, 5720 (2012).
A. Kulkarni, M. Bedolla-Pantoja, S. Singh, R. F. Lobo, M. Mavrikakis and M. A. Barteau, "Reactions of Propylene Oxide on Supported Silver Catalysts: Insights into Pathways Limiting Epoxidation Selectivity," Topics in Catalysis, 55, 3 (2012).
W. Yu, M. A. Barteau and J. G. Chen, "Glycolaldehyde as a Probe Molecule for Biomass-derivatives: Reaction of C-OH and C=O Functional Groups on Monolayer Ni Surfaces," Journal of the American Chemical Society 133, 20528 (2011).
M. Salciccioli, W. Yu, M. A. Barteau, J. G. Chen and D. G. Vlachos, "Differentiation of O-H and C-H Bond Scission Mechanisms of Ethylene Glycol on Pt and Ni/Pt Using Theory and Isotopic Labeling Experiments," Journal of the American Chemical Society 133, 7996 (2011).
S. C. Chan and M. A. Barteau, "Physico-Chemical Effects on the Scale-up of Ag Photodeposition on TiO2 Nanoparticles," Topics in Catalysis, 54, 378 (2011).
J. E. Rekoske and M. A. Barteau, "Kinetics, Selectivity and Deactivation in the Aldol Condensation of Acetaldehyde on Anatase Titanium Dioxide," Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 50, 41 (2011).
J. C. Dellamorte, J. Lauterbach and M. A. Barteau, "Palladium-Silver Bimetallic Catalysts with Improved Activity and Selectivity for Ethylene Epoxidation," Applied Catalysis A: General, 391, 281 (2011).