PhD in Novel catalytic materials for cascade chemical transformations – University of Manchester & UK Catalysis Hub at Harwell

21 Jun 2019

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

For more information visit –