Catalysis is the increase in the rate of a chemical reaction of one or more reactants due to the participation of an additional substance called a catalyst.
Catalytic technologies play a critical role in the economic development of both the chemicals industry and modern society, underpinning 90% of chemical manufacturing processes and contributing to over 20% of all industrial products.
EBRI’s research focusses on developing new heterogeneous catalysts for the sustainable transformation of biomass into fuels and chemicals. Through the use of advanced nanotechnologies and surface sensitive techniques, we aim to obtain molecular level insight into important surface phenomena over metal, metal oxide and alloy catalysts. The importance of surface chemistry in everyday life is also reflected in the diversity of research undertaken within our group, ranging from designer catalysts for clean chemical synthesis, to improved magnetic materials for high density data storage and even novel antibacterial wound dressings.
A particular focus of our research within EBRI is the rational design of new heterogeneous catalysts for green and sustainable chemistry, and the associated development of cutting-edge instrumental techniques (e.g. operando XAS and time-resolved XPS) for investigating dynamic structural and chemical changes within such catalytically-active materials.
We are currently using these methodologies to explore a host of industrially important chemical transformations including alkane activation over model automotive exhaust catalysts, aerobic selective oxidation of alcohols, and the origin of promotional effects in sulphated zirconia solid acid catalysts. A particular interest in on tuning pore architectures to improve in-pore mass transport of bulky reactants and products typically encountered during biomass transformation.
Professor Karen Wilson Professor Adam Lee Dr George Kyriakou Dr Marta Granollers-Mesa Dr Jude Onwudili
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