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.
Further validating its Rational Catalyst Design methodology and breakthrough catalyst materials, Nanostellar has received two industry awards in recent months. In September 2007, Nanostellar was named a GoingGreen Top 100 company by AlwaysOn. Nominated by their peers, winners were selected from the votes of more than 500 venture investors, investment bankers and industry experts. The AlwaysOn award comes on the heels of another honor bestowed on Nanostellar in August 2007, when R&D Magazine named NS Gold a Micro/Nano 25 award winner, calling it a “groundbreaking technology likely to have a large impact on specific industries and society.”
Nanostellar, Inc. provides diesel automotive and stationary power industries with nano-engineered catalyst materials that reduce exhaust emissions and increase the effectiveness of precious metals in catalysts. Focusing on the fields of quantum computational nanoscience, chemistry, materials science, and chemical engineering, Nanostellar utilizes Rational Catalyst Design, which combines computational approaches with targeted experiments, to accelerate the development of new materials. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Nanostellar is funded by premier investors including 3i, Khosla Ventures, Monitor Ventures, Firelake Capital Management LLC, and AsiaTech Management. For more information, visit http://www.nanostellar.com/.