The Environmental Catalysis theme aimed to use catalysis to make the world a better place. The theme combined heterogeneous, homogeneous and bio catalysis together with experimental and theoretical approaches to attack key problems including i) Improved atom efficiency – eradicating waste. ii) Environmental cleanup – dealing with waste. iii) New green applications – catalysis in new domains. iv) Use of bio-renewable resources – CO2.
See highlight projects and publications below:
This is an important topic for catalysis present and future, since it is related to the problem of the storage of solar energy (wind, photovoltaic) at peak times, for use in periods of low production. Here we are working on ways of storing this energy chemically and have focused on methanol production from CO2 (e.g. from coal plants, ammonia plants, steel plants) and hydrogen (from electrolysis). We have identified a number of alloyed catalysts which can successfully do this, and much of our focus early on was on the PdZn system. We have now added an acid function in the form of a zeolite to give us significant yield of dimethyl ether (see below), and at higher temperature we aim to produce a CTG (CO2 to gasoline) system. We are also advancing to more economically viable catalysts such as NiZn and other types of earth-abundant alloy materials.Find further environment projects at the main Cat Hub website
Further publications can be found at the UK Catalysis Hub main website – https://ukcatalysishub.co.uk/publications/