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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/G011397/1
Status Completed
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 90%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 5%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 5%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor L Gladden
No email address given
Chemical Engineering
University of Cambridge
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 January 2009
End Date 31 December 2013
Duration 60 months
Total Grant Value £1,192,624
Industrial Sectors Manufacturing
Region East of England
Programme Physical Sciences, Process Environment and Sustainability
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor L Gladden , Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Dr MD Mantle , Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives Linked to grants EP/G012156/1 and EP/G011133/1
Abstract Mankind faces great challenges in providing sufficient supplies of renewable energy, in protecting our environment, and in developing benign processes for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. These urgent problems can only be solved by applying the best available technology, but this requires a solid foundation of fundamental knowledge created through a multidisciplinary yet focussed approach. Catalysis is an essential enabling technology because it holds the key to solving many of these problems. CASTech aims to build on the science and engineering advances developed in previous collaborative programmes involving the main participants. Specifically, new core competencies for the investigation of reactions in multiphase systems will be developed. These will include MR imaging techniques (University of Cambridge, UCam); computational fluid dynamics (UCam); spectroscopic methods (QUB); SSITKA (QUB); flow visualisation and particle tracking (PEPT) (University of Birmingham, UBir); theoretical calculations (University of Virginia, UVa; QUB) for liquid phase processes. An enhanced time resolution fast transient and operando spectroscopy capability will be developed for investigating the mechanisms and the nature of the active sites in heterogeneous catalytic gas phase reactions (QUB). These core competencies will be applied to investigate the activation of saturated alkanes, initially building on our recent success in oxidative cracking of longer chain alkanes.We propose to develop our experimental and modelling capabilities with the objective of providing quantitative data on how to enhance the performance of a catalytic system by understanding and controlling the interaction between the solvent(s), the substrates and the catalyst surface. We aim to be able to describe the structure of liquids in catalytic systems at multiscale from the external (bulk) liquid phase to inside the porous structure of the catalyst and at the catalyst surface. The research willintegrate new experimental probes and complementary theoretical approaches to help us understand liquid structures and we will use this information in collaboration with our industrial partners to address specific technical challenges.Bio-polymeric materials, e.g. cellulose and lignin, have the potential to provide functionalised building blocks for both existing and novel chemical products. Ourultimate aim is to provide novel and economically viable processes for the conversion of lignininto high value-added products. However, by starting with the conversion of lignosulphonates into vanillin and other higher value chemicals we will develop not only new processes but also the core competencies required to work with more complex fluids.Biogas (CH4 + CO2) can be produced from many differentrenewable sources but capturing and storing the energy is difficult on a small distributed scale. We propose to investigate a new, economic, down-sized engineering approach to the conversionof methane to dimethylether. This will be achieved by reducing the number of unit operations and developing new catalysts capable of performing under the more extreme temperature conditions that will be required to make the process economic.The drive to use catalysts for cleaner more sustainable chemistry needs also to address the inherently polluting and unsustainable process of catalyst manufacture itself. We will investigate the sustainable production of supported catalysts using electrochemical deposition of the metal. This method bypasses several conventional steps and would generate
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 05/11/08