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Novel catalytic materials for cascade chemical transformations.


Project Description

The chemical industry is highly reliant on heterogeneous catalysis, underpinning 90% of all global chemical production, with the UK a key contributor to the development of catalytic materials and processes. One-pot cascade reactions are step-wise chemical transformations where the product from the first reaction becomes the substrate for the next step, and so on, with such sophisticated reaction mechanisms conferring significant benefits including enhanced process efficiency and reduced waste generation. We have recently shown that the spatial compartmentalisation of two distinct catalytic active sites enables precise control over the reaction sequence within a two-step catalytic oxidation cascade (Nat Mater. 2016, 15, 178). This project will look to build on this exciting catalytic strategy, with the aim of producing novel heterogeneous catalysts for biomass upgrading to fuels and chemicals, e.g. glucose (cellulose) to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, which represent ideal sustainable low-carbon emission chemical production routes.
A fully funded studentship is available at the University of Manchester at Harwell within the Research Group of Dr Chris Parlett, located at Diamond Light Source and embedded within the UK Catalysis Hub. These national facilities are based at the Harwell Research Complex in Oxfordshire, which is the UK’s leading science innovation and technology campus, situated 20 minutes from Oxford and one hour from London, and will provide access to world-leading facilities. The unique research environment along with in-depth training will enable you to develop expertise spanning heterogeneous catalysis, nanomaterials, and operando/in-situ spectroscopy.
If you wish to discuss the project in more detail please contact Dr Parlett .

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science or a related discipline. Prior experience in catalysis and/or X-ray spectroscopy would be advantageous but is not essential.

Funding Notes

Open to UK and EU applicant.
Funding covers fees (UK/EU rate) and a stipend for 3.5 years.

How good is research at University of Manchester in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Chemical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.90

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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