News

National Radio Show Interviews Chemical Engineering Chairman About a Natural Gas Catalyst For Boosting Clean, Affordable Transportation

By: 

Rashda Khan
UH led research team is working on a natural gas catalyst for cleaner, cheaper transportation.
UH led research team is working on a natural gas catalyst for cleaner, cheaper transportation.

What’s not to like about U.S. produced fuel that’s affordable, better for the environment and readily available?

The producers of BYUradio's "Top of Mind with Julie Rose," a daily, live news talk and interview show, liked the idea of a catalyst for natural gas vehicles so much that they featured Michael Harold, the M.D. Anderson Professor and chair of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department at the University of Houston, on a recent episode.

The show reaches a national audience of Brigham Young University alumni and affiliates, as well as satellite radio subscribers looking for smart, informative, and uplifting radio content.

Harold, who is an expert in catalytic reaction engineering, is leading a team chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy for a $2 million project to develop and optimize a lower-cost, more efficient catalyst to eliminate unreacted methane.

Other members of the research team include: Lars Grabow, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UH, and researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Virginia and CDTi Inc., an emissions technology company based in Oxnard, Calif.

Traditional vehicle exhaust catalysts rely on platinum, palladium and rhodium, which are effective but expensive.

The team is working on a “four-way catalyst,” building on the three-way catalysts used with gasoline and diesel engines. A critical aspect of the project is to reduce the use of precious metals, lowering the cost.

The new catalyst will test the use of metal oxides containing lower-cost elements iron, cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel and others.

“We’re working on something that’s important for the country,” Harold said. “We have a surplus of natural gas, and we are helping break down barriers for its expanded use.”

You can hear the interview, which aired earlier in August, here:

http://www.byuradio.org/episode/44cf887f23224aa3b7cb29aa94f73245?playhead=2128&autoplay=true

Faculty: 

Department/Academic Programs: 

Related News Stories

University of Houston Partners with AuraVax Therapeutics on COVID-19 Vaccine

Navin Varadarajan, M.D. Anderson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has created a nasal vaccine for COVID-19 and a company to market it in partnership with the University of Houston.

The University of Houston has entered into an exclusive license option agreement with AuraVax Therapeutics Inc., a Houston, TX based biotech company developing novel vaccines to help patients defeat debilitating respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. Under terms of the agreement, AuraVax has the option to exclusively license a new intranasal COVID-19 vaccine technology developed by Dr. Navin Varadarajan, M.D. Anderson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Faster swimming bacteria could help with spills

Narendra Dewangan, a graduate student of Dr. Jacinta Conrad, has completed work with the Conrad Research Group on how faster swimming bacteria could be used to help with removal of pollutants.

A new paper and research from the Conrad Research Group of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering looks at how bacteria could be used to help with removal of pollutants, like in oil spills and wastewater treatment.

Rapid tests for COVID-19 now, other diseases later the goal for Kourentzi

Dr. Katerina Kourentzi, Research Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is developing a saliva-based lateral flow assay rapid test for COVID-19 detection. The test strips for the assay are designed using the Biodot XYZ3060 Dispensing Platform.

The development of point-of-care tests – and as of late, for COVID-19 – has been the primary focus of Dr. Katerina Kourentzi, Research Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering.