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Volume 605 Issue 7910, 19 May 2022

Running hot and cold

At industrial scales, chemical reactions are typically driven by applying continuous heat to the reactants. In this week’s issue, Liangbing Hu and his colleagues show that pulsed heating and quenching can enhance synthetic performance while also saving energy. The researchers use a programmable electric current to switch between high and low temperatures very quickly — typically 0.02 seconds on, 1.08 seconds off. Rapidly quenching the reaction gives high selectivity, maintains catalyst stability and reduces energy usage. The cover image illustrates the heater in action for the pyrolysis of methane — the model reaction the team tested. Methane molecules travel through the pores of the high-temperature heater and are selectively converted into useful products.

Cover image: Jiaqi Dai

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  • Comment

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  • News & Views

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  • Articles

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Innovations In

  • As the first wave of the COVID pandemic washed across the world, it left devastation in its wake – devastation that was persistently most acute among disadvantaged people and in marginalized communities.

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