Catalytic Science at Harwell

Project: Research council

Project Details


Catalysis is a core area of science that lies at the heart of the chemicals industry - an immensely successful and important part of the overall UK economy, where in recent years the UK output has totalled over 50B and is ranked 7th in the world. This position is being maintained in the face of immense competition worldwide. For the UK to maintain its leading position it is essential that innovation in research is maintained, which can be achieved through bringing together the internationally leading academic activity that exists in the UK in this key area of contemporary science. We therefore, aim to create a Centre for Catalysis at the central facilities which will help to keep the UK at the forefront of this crucial scientific and technological sector. The Centre will be established in the Research Complex at Harwell which will allow us both to work closely with the central facilities, to whose development the project will also contribute, and to interact with and contribute to the broader scientific community on the Harwell/RAL Campus The major developments in the in situ characterisation of catalytic materials that have taken place in the recent years have been of immense importance in addressing the complex scientific problems posed by catalytic science The Centre will therefore in pursuing a wide ranging programme of research in catalytic science, develop state-of-the art in situ facilities that will be used for experiments to be conducted at the Diamond, Synchrotron Radiation, ISIS Neutron Scattering and Central Laser Facilities. Such experiments will allow us to probe the structure and evolution of catalysts at the molecular level during their operation; but their effectiveness will require the on-line studies to be integrated with off line experimentation in the Complex, within which we will establish a broad range of experimental facilities. An extensive programme of applications will be undertaken, with strong emphasis on the following central themes in contemporary catalytic science:* Sustainable Catalyst Technologies for Organic Transformations* Catalysis for alternative fuels* Catalysis in the Protection of the EnvironmentBy coordinating the expertise of the collaborative groups, in novel areas of catalytic science enabled by the facilities on the Harwell/RAL campus, we will provide a platform for new initiatives that will provide a hub for UK catalysis research and will give substantial added value to the existing investment in catalytic science. Moreover by working together, the UK scientific team will be able take centre stage and lead the world in this crucial field.The impact of the Centre will be further promoted by a vigorous and effective dissemination strategy which will develop strong interactions with a wide range of academic and industrial groups and with the broader scientific community.
Effective start/end date1/03/1128/02/16

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath (lead)
  • University College London
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Aberdeen
  • Diamond Light Source Ltd
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.