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Continuous Manufacturing with Carbon Nanoreactor Supported Nanoparticle Catalysts for the Self-Optimisation of Heterogenous Reduction Reactions


Project Description

Project details: This industrially sponsored project, between Dr Thomas Chamberlain and Dr Richard Bourne (University of Leeds) and Dr Kevin Leslie and Dr Graeme Clemens (Process Chemistry at AstraZeneca), will enable high throughput, flow hydrogenation at scale enabling robust, continuous manufacture. To achieve this the project will fabricate novel carbon based, pelleted catalyst materials, incorporating an ultra-hard core, proving the structural strength and dimensions required to minimize pressure drop across a flow reactor column, with an innovative, nanoreactor based porous outer shell designed to maximize surface area, nanoparticle stabilization and the rate of reactions. These catalysts will be integrated into the self-optimizing, reactor platform, at Leeds, capable of performing heterogeneous hydrogenation in flow, will enable optimisation of heterogeneously catalysed chemical reactions in flow of exemplar active pharmaceutical ingredient targets determined in partnership with AstraZeneca. This will include a placement at AZ Macclesfield, including training on state-of-the-art continuous flow hydrogenation apparatus and engagement with colleagues in process development.
The research and training will include: the construction, validation, and testing of automated reactor platforms, organic synthetic chemistry in flow; heterogeneous catalysts preparation, characterisation and utilisation; analysis of reaction outcomes using a range of techniques and exploitation of self-optimising algorithms. This project would suit a student with strong interests in flow chemistry and applied catalysis, and in the use of state-of-the-art automated techniques. The student will benefit from working within teams of researchers approaching challenges in process development and catalysis.

Funding Notes

UK/EU - Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Industrial CASE Studentships paying Home/EU of £4,600 for Session 2020/21, together with a maintenance grant (currently £15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates for 4 years. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

How good is research at University of Leeds in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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