Bowman Receives ACS Grant

Bowman’s grant will help him develop and study advanced materials for use in the partial oxidation of methane, a process widely used in the petroleum industry.

Nov. 13, 2020 - The American Chemical Society has awarded Samueli School materials science and engineering Assistant Professor William Bowman a Petroleum Research Fund grant of $110,000 to further his research into how a mineral called perovskite can be used in the partial oxidation of methane (POM).

Bowman will investigate how the atomic structure and nanoscale chemical composition of grain boundaries in perovskites affect POM, a process widely used in the petroleum industry. He will employ scanning transmission electron microscopy to better understand electrocatalytic systems using perovskites, including how to tune the grain boundaries of these minerals to enhance performance. The research could ultimately lead to more efficient conversion of methane into synthetic gas.

“Methane is the main constituent in natural gas, but it is challenging and energy intensive to convert the chemically stable CH4 molecule into value-added products like methanol, liquid hydrocarbon fuels or ammonia,” Bowman said. “For my lab, this grant is an important step toward developing advanced materials for methane membrane reactors. It will enable us to make novel materials, and study them in UCI’s state-of-the-art electron microscopy facility, IMRI.”

The ACS Petroleum Research Fund, which supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels, is intended as seed money to help investigators initiate new research directions.

– Anna Lynn Spitzer