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Addressing global sustainability challenges by changing perceptions in catalyst design

Objective

One of the greatest challenges facing society is the sustainability of resources. At present, a step change in the sustainable use of resources is needed and catalysis lies at the heart of the solution by providing new routes to carbon dioxide mitigation, energy security and water conservation. It is clear that new high efficiency game-changing catalysts are required to meet the challenge. This proposal will focus on excellence in catalyst design by learning from recent step change advances in gold catalysis by challenging perceptions. Intense interest in gold catalysts over the past two decades has accelerated our understanding of gold particle-size effects, gold-support and gold-metal interactions, the interchange between atomic and ionic gold species, and the role of the gold-support interface in creating and maintaining catalytic activity. The field has also driven the development of cutting-edge techniques, particularly in microscopy and transient kinetics, providing detailed structural characterisation on the nano-scale and probing the short-range and often short-lived interactions. By comparison, our understanding of other metal catalysts has remained relatively static.

The proposed programme will engender a step change in the design of supported-metal catalysts, by exploiting the learning and the techniques emerging from gold catalysis. The research will be set out in two themes. In Theme 1 two established key grand challenges will be attacked; namely, energy vectors and greenhouse gas control. Theme 2 will address two new and emerging grand challenges in catalysis namely the effective low temperature activation of primary carbon hydrogen bonds and CO2 utilisation where instead of treating CO2 as a thermodynamic endpoint, the aim will be to re-use it as a feedstock for bulk chemical and fuel production. The legacy of the research will be the development of a new catalyst design approach that will provide a tool box for future catalyst development.

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-ADG_20110209
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Host institution

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Address
Newport Road 30-36
CF24 ODE Cardiff
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 279 785
Principal investigator
Graham John Hutchings (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Nick Bodycombe (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 2 279 785
Address
Newport Road 30-36
CF24 ODE Cardiff
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Graham John Hutchings (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Nick Bodycombe (Mr.)