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New directions in cooperative catalysis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project concerns the development of new homogeneous catalysts for upgrading small, potentially sustainably-sourced molecules such as bioalcohols and carbon dioxide into more useful commodity chemicals, such as synthetic higher alcohol fuels.

This project will make use of recent advances in the field of cooperative catalysis, where multiple activate sites on a catalyst (for example, a transitional metal in conjunction with an acidic or basic functionality on a supporting ligand) have proved to be more effective than a single site alone.

Good examples of this approach from our group include the use of transition metal-based ‘frustrated’ Lewis pairs and ligand assisted catalytic upgrading of ethanol to the advanced biofuel butanol.

This project will draw lessons from these previous projects to generate a new generation of systems to facilitate these difficult chemical transformations. It will combine the synthesis of new ligands and organometallic species (targeting first row ‘earth abundant’ metals), catalytic screening and mechanistic study; DFT experiments can be added to the study if necessary.

The new catalysts generated will be of fundamental scholarly interest – this is an area of increasing importance across all branches of catalysis - as well as potential commercial significance.

Start date: 1st October 2019

Supervisor - Professor Duncan Wass -

Funding Notes

Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education.

For more information please click below

How good is research at Cardiff University in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.00

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

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