More stable nanoparticle could benefit hydrogen fuel cell development

ūüĒ¨ RESEARCH: University of Illinois Chicago¬†and¬†Argonne National Laboratory¬†researchers¬†discovered that a type of catalyst¬†made up of multiple elements is more stable and durable than other catalysts, which often degrade quickly. The catalyst is an alloy nanoparticle, or a tiny particle consisting of multiple metallic elements, such as cobalt, nickel, copper and platinum. The nanoparticle catalysts could aid chemical reactions for clean energy production, such as splitting water to generate hydrogen for fuel cells or enabling solar cells to more efficiently produce heat, electricity and fuel.


  • Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois¬†completed the final stretch¬†of a 375-mile transmission line that stretches from Missouri to Indiana. The project is part of a coordinated multi-state effort to strengthen the regional energy grid and incorporate more renewable energy.
  • Nebraska Public Power District¬†plans to¬†issue a request for proposals¬†in March to procure renewable energy generation plus storage to allow chemical and hydrogen company¬†Monolith Materials¬†to proceed with a $1 billion facility expansion. The two entities signed a power purchase letter-of-intent.

ūüĆĪ AGRICULTURE:¬†The term ‚Äúdairy farm‚ÄĚ doesn‚Äôt necessarily make you think of robots interacting with cows, but that‚Äôs exactly what‚Äôs happening daily at¬†Homestead Dairy¬†in Plymouth, Indiana, which earned the distinction of 2021 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year,¬†reports Dairy Herd Management. The farm aims to be as environmentally friendly and self-sustainable as possible, including installing a methane digester and aiming to generate electricity.

ūüöô TRANSPORTATION:¬†Boulder, Colorado-based sustainability nonprofit¬†Rocky Mountain Institute¬†and Detroit-based¬†General Motors¬†collaborated on a report¬†stating that electrifying shared transportation companies‚Äô (such as Uber and Lyft) vehicle networks is crucial for decarbonizing transportation. The report addresses some technological and infrastructure barriers.

ūü§Ě ACQUISITION:¬†Omaha-based ethanol producer¬†Green Plains¬†and asset management firm¬†Ospraie Management¬†acquired a majority stake¬†in biofuel tech company¬†Fluid Quip Technologies¬†in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The terms of the deal are not disclosed.


  • Applications¬†for the¬†Techstars Sustainability Challenge¬†are open until March 21. The focus is on developing more sustainable supply chains, and finalists will receive support to develop a proof-of-concept.
  • Applications¬†are being accepted until Jan. 18 for the next cohort of the¬†Latinx Incubator, a collaboration between Chicago‚Äôs¬†1871¬†incubator and the¬†Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


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