Nano4EARTH Roundtable Discussion on Catalysts

January 24, 2024
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET
Online and L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C.

The Nano4EARTH roundtable discussion on catalysts aims to identify fundamental knowledge gaps, needs, and opportunities to advance current climate mitigation goals through the use of nanocatalysts in industrial processes. By convening stakeholders from different sectors, backgrounds, and expertise, the goal of this roundtable is to identify applicable lessons across industries, discuss system-specific needs, scalability and commercialization challenges, and potential paths forward. This moderated discussion will focus on nearer-term opportunities for impact that could pave the way toward larger-scale implementation. These opportunities could have a near-term impact on reaching net-zero carbon emission, sustainable development, and overall climate targets.

The topic of this roundtable was identified at the Nano4EARTH Kick-off Workshop (summary readout and video archive) as a particularly promising area that could have an impact in a short time frame (four years or less). This is the final roundtable of four.


Click here to download the discussion summary.


January 24, 2024
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Time (ET)


9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Check-in and light refreshments

9:30 a.m.– 9:45 a.m.

Welcome, overview, and framing of the discussion

9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Identifying needs to accelerate net-zero goals

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Identifying technologies with untapped potential

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.


1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Discussing technology specifications/characteristics of interest

2 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Matching technology specification with needs and opportunities

3:20 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.



Mark Banash
President, Neotericon

Massimiliano Delferro
Chemist, Group Leader,
Argonne National Laboratory

Abdoulaye Djire
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering,
Texas A&M University

Jacek Jasinski
Theme Leader, Materials Characterization,
Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research,
University of Louisville

Ivan Konstantinov
Senior Scientist, Dow

Matteo Pasquali
A.J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Nanoengineering, Director of Carbon Hub, Rice University

Sridhar Seetharaman
Chief Executive Officer, Electrified Processes for Industry Without Carbon (EPIXC), Arizona State University

Brenna Teigler
Chief Fellowship Officer, Activate
Lei Zhang
Expert Active Materials Scientist, Materials and Catalysis, Active Materials Development and Scale-Up, ExxonMobil Technology and Engineering Co.

Julie Zimmerman
Vice Provost for Planetary Solutions, Professor of Green Engineering, Assistant Director for Research at Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering,
Yale University


Nanocatalysts made with earth-abundant elements can improve the energy efficiency, sustainability, and reduce overall industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Nanocatalysts can also provide green energy precursors to industries that heavily rely on fossil fuels. The goal of this roundtable is to identify the most pressing near-term knowledge gaps, needs, and opportunities, as we look to accelerate the impact of nanocatalysts in a variety of industrial processes. For example, the production of ammonia for agricultural fertilizers through the Haber-Bosch process currently uses close to 2% of the world’s energy supply and heavily relies on fossil fuels for feedstock. Nanocatalysts provide a pathway to make green hydrogen available as feedstock and optimize the overall energy efficiency of the ammonia production process by reducing temperature and pressure requirements. Industrial CO 2 emissions are currently at 9 Gt per year; reimagining industrial processes using nanocatalysts offer a potential avenue to mitigate emissions and reach the 2030 decarbonization goals.

Vision: Nanotechnology as a catalyst for innovation in key areas and industries that could help accelerate progress toward climate change mitigation and sustainable development goals in the short term.


  • Identify key knowledge gaps, needs, and new use-case opportunities.
  • Identify approaches, tools, questions, and needs to address knowledge gaps.
  • Identify the most impactful ideas in the short term, based on strategic opportunities, scalability, and commercial potential.

Suggested reading


Maria Fernanda Campa