Nanostellar, Inc., a leader in nano-engineered catalyst materials, reported today that its Rational Catalyst Design process has enabled it to significantly reduce research and development time for new diesel-emissions catalysts, a major factor in its recent announcement of NS Gold(TM), the first catalyst that uses gold to improve the performance and reduce the cost of diesel automobile catalytic converters.
Nanostellar was founded in 2004 with a vision of developing catalyst technology for reducing diesel-fuel emissions. In late 2006, Nanostellar introduced its first generation of products, outperforming commercial platinum-only catalysts by 20%-25%. "Rational Catalyst Design allows our researchers to capture relevant chemistry and physics of metal particles by computer simulation, allowing them to alter these materials in ways that have a high potential for improving performance," said Pankaj Dhingra, CEO of Nanostellar.
In April 2007, Nanostellar again raised the bar for diesel emissions reduction by pioneering the use of gold as a catalyst. In engine testing, the new NS Gold(TM) catalyst demonstrated a 20-percent reduction in emissions over Nanostellar's first-generation products.
Nanostellar's success in outpacing other emissions control technologies is due, in part, to its success in pioneering the application of Rational Design to the development of automotive catalysts. While the traditional materials development process is driven by an empirical approach that involves a significant amount of time-consuming lab work, Nanostellar's Rational Catalyst Design methodology uses quantum physics-based models to develop a fundamental understanding of chemical reactions and material properties and incorporates this knowledge in the design of new materials. By substituting fast and inexpensive computational cycles for time-consuming lab work, Rational Catalyst Design enables the design of better-targeted materials and cuts months or even years off the catalyst development process.