Research Topic

Catalysts for Clean Energy Conversion and Storage

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About this Research Topic

This Research Topic intends to publish contributions on current ideas and novel concepts for the advancement of energy materials for catalyzing the critical chemical reactions in energy conversion and storage including fuel cells, metal-air batteries, water-splitting, solar cells, CO2 reduction to ...

This Research Topic intends to publish contributions on current ideas and novel concepts for the advancement of energy materials for catalyzing the critical chemical reactions in energy conversion and storage including fuel cells, metal-air batteries, water-splitting, solar cells, CO2 reduction to fuels, and N2 reduction to chemicals. The theory, design, modeling, computational screening, synthesis, and characterization of the photocatalysts and electrocatalysts are highly welcome. Various catalytic materials including non-precious metals, carbon materials, metal oxides, 2D materials, etc. are of particular relevance.

Clean and sustainable energy technologies are currently under intensive research and development because of their high efficiency, promising large-scale applications and virtually no pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. For example, Li-air batteries, with the ability to power a car for a 500-mile range per charge, have the potential to rival traditional gasoline-powered engines. However, these energy technologies require noble metal catalysts (e.g., platinum, Pt, and its derivatives) to promote key chemical reactions, such as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), for energy generation and storage. The limited resources and high cost of Pt catalysts have hindered the development of energy technologies for commercial use. In addition to their prohibitively high cost, Pt-based electrodes are also susceptible to time-dependent drift and CO deactivation. Therefore, the development of low cost, highly efficient alternatives to Pt would significantly accelerate the adoption of clean and sustainable energy technologies.

Extensive efforts have been made in the search for more efficient alternatives to replace Pt. Various materials, including non-precious metals, carbon nanomaterials, and even single-atom catalysts, have been discovered to perform catalytic activities comparable to or higher than commercial Pt catalysts. It is believed that the superior catalytic capabilities and durability of these catalysts are directly related to their nanostructures. Thus, understanding the catalytic mechanism and engineering their structures could result in more efficient and durable catalysts, and will guide the design, optimization, and discovery of new catalysts.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

 • Synthesis and characterization of photocatalysts and electrocatalysts
 • Catalytic material and electrode structures and properties for energy conversion and storage
 • Catalytic mechanisms of reactions, deactivation/regeneration in energy conversion
 • Theory, design, modeling, computational screening, and discovery of high-performance catalysts for energy applications
 • Catalysts and electrodes in fuel cells (PEMC, SOFC), metal-air batteries, solar cells, and water splitting
 • Catalytic generation of hydrogen; catalytic transformation of CO2 and N2 to fuels


Keywords: photocatalysts and electrocatalysis, energy conversion and storage, modeling and simulation, synthesis, characterization, hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction and evolution, carbon dioxide reduction, fuel cells, metal-air batteries, water-splitting


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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