Catalysis Hub At Harwell

RCAH building photo

The initial Catalysis at Harwell grant and equipment funding has led to great improvements to the infrastructure and equipment base for catalysis. EPSRC support has funded the creation of a gas handling laboratory and provided the bespoke catalysis instrumentation (EP/K005030/1) essential to establishing a leading institution in the field. The gas infrastructure work renovated a laboratory to add additional benching, fume cupboard, and gas ring-main system. The ring-main system has 8 lines for different speciality gases, with each gas having 10 individually regulated drop-off points around the laboratory. The catalysis equipment currently available includes: (i) rapid scanning FT-IR with combined XAFS/DRIFTS capabilities with Custom designed Portable gas handling system, (ii) a suite of autoclave reactors, (iii) a multi-tubular reactor assembly for heterogeneous catalysis studies, (iv) a flow reactor for homogeneous catalysis, (v) a Hiden CATlab for heterogeneous catalysis studies, TPO, TPD and TPR, (vi) a suite of high performance liquid and gas chromatographs and (vii) a microwave-plasma atomic emission spectrometer, (viii) Quantocrome four station BET surface area analyser.

The equipment base has been supplemented further by relocation of equipment from the University of Southampton to the Harwell campus, for use by the UK Catalysis Hub and the Dynamical Structural Sciences consortium. This equipment includes a combined stopped-flow UV/vis with freeze quench accessory and a micro-reactor assembly with quadrupole mass spectrometer.

In addition to the gas handling lab the Catalysis team also occupy a lab for preparative chemistry work, which has also been aided by the transfer of the necessary equipment for preparing and handling air and moisture sensitive compounds (Schlenk line, vacuum pumps etc.). Moreover, the team has also aided the core RCaH staff by assisting in setting up a furnace room for the whole facility. The catalysis team currently has office space sufficient for 20 desks and 158 m2 of laboratory space.