Catalysts for Cool Cars

Image of core-shell structured oxide support.

Core-shell structured oxide support, containing silica (SiO2) and zirconia (ZrO2) in its core (blue) and shell (green), respectively. Palladium (Pd) nanoparticles (red) are deposited onto the zirconia shell surface.

As new vehicle engines become more efficient, the engine exhaust temperatures are lower than the typical operating range of catalysts. Therefore, innovative catalysts that operate at lower temperatures are needed to control the engine pollutants (e.g. nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons).


Eleni Kyriakidou, Assistant Professor

Photo of Eleni Kyriakidou.

The Kyriakidou research group focuses on important industrial targets for production of cutting-edge catalytic materials to meet the strict emission control regulations introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency, and utilizes common pollutants from internal combustion engines.

The “Catalysts Design & Energy Applications” lab seeks to develop novel catalysts that enable clean and efficient operation of automobile engines. While the focus of the Kyriakidou group research is to gain an appreciable understanding of newly developed catalytic materials, the long-term goal is that these materials will someday be utilized by future internal combustion engine and hybrid vehicle technologies.

The Material Characterization Laboratory at UB CBE’s Furnas Hall facilities will enable members of the Kyriakidou team to use a variety of experimental catalyst characterization techniques. Interactions with potential collaborators within other engineering departments and the broader UB research community will enrich student experience and facilitate their efforts in pursuit of understanding and synthesizing catalysts.