An Integrated, Multi-Dimensional In-Operando Reaction Monitoring Facility for Homogenous Catalysis Research

Project: Research council

Project Details


Our society is highly dependent on catalytic science which is central to major global challenges such as efficient conversion of energy, mitigation of greenhouse gases, destroying pollutants in the atmosphere and in water, and processing biomass which all rely intrinsically on catalysis. In addition, catalysis is a key technology for the chemical industry; it is estimated that catalytic science contributes to 90% of chemical manufacturing processes. Chemistry-using industries are is a major component of the UK's manufacturing output and vital part of the overall UK economy, generating in excess of £50 billion per annum. The ONS Annual Business Survey (2012) estimated chemical and pharma manufacturing to be worth £19 billion p.a. and predicted that by 2030, the UK chemical industry will have enabled the chemistry-using industries to increase their Gross Value Added contribution to the UK economy by 50%, from £195 billion to £300 billion. Understanding how catalyst work is notoriously difficult because of the low concentrations and transient nature of catalytically active species. In this project will develop new equipment based on state-of-the-art flow NMR methods that will enable the rapid development of new catalysts for academic research and industrial processes. Crucially the equipment we propose will allow high sensitivity and real-time monitoring of catalytic reactions under a wide range of realistic reaction conditions (e.g., concentrations, temperatures and pressures). This will provide a unique facility to study the scope, productivity, selectivity and deactivation of catalysts, which in turn will provide insight into mechanisms and allow us to develop new catalytic systems. The equipment will be utilized by academic and industrial scientists and engineers at the University of Bath and throughout the UK to understand and develop catalysts for a wide range of processes of academic and industrial relevance. Areas that will benefit from the equipment will ude; catalysts for renewable polymers, catalysts for utilisation and valorisation of biomass, catalysts for sustainable energy, and catalysts for sustainable synthesis of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. The progress that will be enabled by the equipment will be exploited, particularly within the pharma and fine chemicals sectors, through collaboration with a wide variety of UK catalyst companies and chemical producers.
Effective start/end date10/07/169/07/19

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath (lead)
  • AstraZeneca UK Ltd
  • Bruker UK Ltd
  • CatScI Ltd
  • Johnson Matthey-Davy Technologies
  • S-PACT GmbH


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

RCUK Research Areas

  • Catalysis and surfaces
  • Catalysis and Applied Catalysis


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