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Chemistry Researcher Dr. Andrew Sutton Receives Postdoctoral Prize


Dr. Andrew Sutton of Chemistry Division's Isotope Inorganic and Actinide Chemistry group has won LANL's prestigious Andrew SuttonPostdoctoral Publication prize in Experimental Sciences. The prize was given for an article that appeared in Science magazine on March 18th, 2011. The article is titled, "Regeneration of Ammonia Borane Spent Fuel by Direct Reaction with Hydrazine and Liquid Ammonia," and Dr. Sutton is the lead author. 

The fundamental discovery described in this article has the potential for significant impact in the field of hydrogen storage. In the article, Dr. Sutton and his colleagues from LANL and the University of Alabama describe a new single-stage method for recycling the hydrogen storage compound ammonia borane. The breakthrough makes potentially problematic hydrogen a more attractive fuel for vehicles and other transportation modes. It does so by building upon previous work in the LANL Hydrogen Storage Centers of Excellence on the use of ammonia borane as a hydrogen storage medium.

Dr. John Gordon, Dr. Sutton’s postdoctoral mentor and nominator for the prize stated that "This paper represents a true landmark in the field of hydrogen storage chemistry. In part due to Dr. Sutton’s efforts, LANL received the highest grades within the Chemical Hydrogen Storage CoE during the last DOE Annual Merit reviews. The work outlined in this paper has helped promote LANL as the technical leaderin the field of hydrogen storage chemistries within the DOE complex." Other colleagues at LANL who supported the nomination describe the chemistry as being "as beautiful in its simplicity as it is effective in its utility."  To read more about the research, visit the Chemistry Division web page. The Science article itself may be downloaded from the magazine’s web site.

Dr. Sutton was notified of the prize on July 7th. The prize is biennial and is sponsored by Damon Giovanielli (formerly Director of physics research at Los Alamos) and the Laboratory. It is awarded to a Los Alamos postdoctoral researcher for the best article in experimental sciences, published or accepted for publication. A call for nominations is sent out in January in odd numbered years. Later this year Dr. Sutton’s will be presenting an award symposium on the research. More information about this and other institutional Postdoc prizes is available, along with names of previous years' winners.

"Regeneration of Ammonia Borane Spent Fuel by Direct Reaction with Hydrazine and Liquid Ammonia," by Andrew D. Sutton, Anthony K. Burrell, David A. Dixon, Edward B. Garner III, John C. Gordon, Tessui Nakagawa, Kevin C. Ott, J. Pierce Robinson, and Monica Vasiliu (Science 2011, 331, 1426-1429).

LA-UR-11-10978

Contact: Josh Smith


July 2011

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