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Fall 2018 Seminar Series - 112618 Gaffney

Chemical Engineering

Fall 2018 Seminar Series - 112618 Gaffney






Doctor Anne Gaffney

Idaho National Laboratory 


Monday, November 26, 2018

Seminar will be held in ST-160 (Lecture Hall) at 2:00 PM

Reception: 3:00 – 4:00 PM in Steinman Hall, Exhibit Room – 1st Floor


Catalysis Technology Network: 

A smooth path from R&D to industrialization 


The size of the United States catalyst market of nearly $18 billion (6.5 million ton), growing at an expected rate of about 3.5% annually would reach a level of $40 billion by 2025 and represents a great incentive to accelerate the path to market of R&D outcomes. Since 90% of the chemical processes employ catalysts, nearly $50 trillion of American goods can be linked to catalytic performance. In terms of energy, these chemical processes account for 30% of global energy consumption. Although, several thousand products are made, only 18 are responsible for the highest energy consumption, i.e. 80% of the used energy and 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. At the top of the list are petrochemical processes producing ammonia, ethylene, propylene and methanol. It is clear that new, more efficient catalysts and catalytic processes are required. Historically, most commercially available catalysts have been developed by industry, usually by catalyst manufacturers. The development of a new catalyst for existing processes can take between 2 to 5 years, while less than 2 for incremental improvements of existing catalysts. Once the potential economic value of a catalyst is assessed against the interest of the developer, scale-up activities then begin. Often the scaling-up of a catalyst takes place in an industrial facility; however, the unit operations that are typically employed by catalyst manufacturers do not always respond to the methodologies developed by scientific researchers. The scientific basis of the catalyst manufacturing processes has been often overlooked. The intent of the Catalysis Technology Network is to provide these manufacturing basis while enabling research and development in a mixed environment constituted by academia, national laboratories and industry. Members will interact and exchange knowledge, resources, and capabilities around common goals, such as the creation of a new catalyst, a new method for its manufacturing, or a new catalytic process technology. These can be funded through various mechanisms, including individuals, industry, academia, or government entities, or a combination thereof. There are several advantages built into this network model: decreasing research and development costs, minimizing catalyst development duplication, accelerating targeted market access, and reducing development overlap while enabling collaborative synergies. Effective collaboration through this technology network will bring new catalysis technologies and innovation to life by collecting, scientific experience-based knowledge and one-of-a-kind capabilities from identified collaborators. The technology network is structured in such a way that it functions as one program rather than a multi-participant project. Rather than focusing on role based activities that are often sequential, this structure provides more synergistic opportunities. The measurement for success relies heavily upon robust scientific knowledge and complementary and supplementary capabilities to achieve the basis of catalyst manufacturing for the future.


Anne Gaffney is the Chief Science Officer and a Laboratory Fellow at Idaho National Laboratory (INL).  She received a B.A. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from University of Delwarre. Prior to INL, she worked at INVISTA, AMG Chemistry & Catalysis Consulting and the Langmuir Research Institute, Lummus Technology, Rohm & Haas company, Dupont Central R&D, and ARCO Chemical Company.  She has been the recipient of multiple awards, recently including the 2015 Eugene Houdry Award of the North American Catalysis Society and ACS Industrial Chemistry Awards.  She is an ACS Fellow.