Group 2: Elements of 21st Century Catalysis

Project: Research council

Project Details


Catalysis, the acceleration of chemical transformation, is the key to realising environmentally friendly and economical processes for the conversion of both conventional (fossil) and alternative (e.g. biomass and carbon dioxide) chemical feedstocks. Catalysts act by reducing the energy required for a reaction to proceed and will, thus, occupy a key role in the world's energy future. Many of the most useful soluble and solid catalysts incorporate precious metals such as rhodium, palladium, platinum and ruthenium. These metals are expensive and their supply is limited. There is, therefore, a need for the development of non-precious-metal catalysts as replacements. This project proposal seeks funding for a joint synthetic/computational study of the emerging area of the application of environmentally benign and non-toxic Group 2 complexes in homogeneous catalysis. Using chemistry that has been developed in the applicants' own laboratories as a starting point, we shall seek to develop the range of available and easily synthesised alkyl and hydride reagents. Tandem experimental and theoretical studies will be employed to interrogate the factors which dictate the reaction chemistry of these superficially simple but understudied derivatives and will apply this knowledge to the development of ever more ambitious catalytic schemes. To this end we shall challenge one of the most pressing chemical scientific challenges of the early 21st Century, viz the low energy transformation of bulk resources with minimum cost in terms of energy and environmental impact.
Effective start/end date23/05/1131/03/15


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council