Developing new catalysts, molecules that enable complex chemical reactions, which play a vital role in addressing global challenges such as sustainable energy, mitigation of greenhouse gases, destroying atmospheric and water pollutants and transforming food waste into valuable products.

Flow chemistry provides a valuable alternative to reactions run in a simple vessel. Typically, a catalyst is immobilised on a solid support and the reactants flow through a channel and are converted into products in a continuous operation. This has allowed elegant collaborative work to be done by teams involving Chemists and Chemical Engineers, combining expertise in novel chemical transformations with innovative reactor design.

Flow expertise within the CSCT has recently concentrated on real time reaction monitoring via flow NMR studies providing a direct insight into the pathway a reaction follows to produce a certain chemical mixture. This knowledge is key to optimising product yields whilst reducing energy consumption and minimising waste. Success in this area has seen the publication of a practical guide to this versatile and powerful tool along with a joint University of Bath/ EPSRC equipment grant to establish a world-leading, £1.3 million state-of-the-art analytical facility within the CSCT.

“We have had successful collaborative ventures in the area of flow chemistry where the scale has been from nanochannel and microchannel reactors through to larger scale reactors capable of producing several grams of product per minute.” Professor Jonathan Williams

Key Research Papers

Catal. Sci. Technol., 2016,10.1039/C6CY01754A
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, 4, 948
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013, 3, 85
Tetrahedron Lett., 2011, 33, 4253
Chem. Eng. Res. Des., 2010, 4, 1533
Green Chem., 2010, 12, 1687


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