Chemical &amp; Materials Engineering students from UAH worked in shifts for 48 hours straight in late May at Oak Ridge National laboratory in Tennessee to advance basic knowledge of materials proposed for use as catalysts in lithium batteries and fuel cells. Led by Dr. Yu Lei, a UAH assistant chemical engineering professor, the team worked in Oak Ridge's High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), using the facility's General Purpose Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Instrument to bombard 10 different materials with a high flux (&gt;107 neutrons per cm 2 per sec) neutron beam. The scattering pattern resulting from the neutron diffraction provides information on the material's structure, giving engineers insight into which structures best fit their applications. "Besides lithium battery materials research for energy storage, we were doing basic research for alternative fuels, looking for catalyzing agents that could be used to convert biofuels from biomass," says Dr. Lei. "We were also exploring advanced catalysts that could decompose methanol to make hydrogen for fuel cell use."