3D Design in Electrocatalysis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Chemistry


This project will investigate the following:

(a) developing a DFT theory model for hydrogen evolution on
stainless steel

(b) comparing reactivity of 3D printed and conventional steel

(c) electrocatalytic water electrolysis and energy conversion (e.g. Methanol oxidation) processes in 3D printed reactors

(d) novel electrode and electrocatalyst designs based on
sustainable technologies

(e) Investigating electrochemical CO2 reduction on 3D printed copper, conventionally produced copper and copper alloys (e.g. Bronze and Brass). The use of PIM-1 (a Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity) could also be employed to aid in increasing the partial pressure of CO2 at the electrode, since it has a high gas permeability, but is not permeable to water.

(f) Developing a 3D printed cell for triphasic catalysis of CO2 reduction, whereby CO2 gas and bicarbonate solution pass through a metal (e.g. copper based) electrode which has a highly porous structure (to increase surface area).

(g) Other electrochemical reactions could be explored, such as the decomposition of urea to ammonia.

Planned Impact

Catalysis is crucially important to the UK economy, with products and services reliant on catalytic processes amounting to 21% of GDP and 15% of all exports. The UK is scientifically strong and internationally recognised in the field, but the science base is fragmented and becoming increasingly specialised. The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Catalysis will overcome these problems by acting as beacon for excellent postgraduate training in Catalysis and Reaction Engineering with a programme that will develop an advanced knowledge base of traditional and emerging catalysis disciplines, understanding of industry and global contexts, and research and professional skills tailored to the needs of the catalysis researcher.

Although the chemical sector is an immensely successful and important part of the overall UK economy, this sector is not the only end-user of catalysis. Through its training and its research portfolio the Centre will, therefore, impact on a broad range of technologies, processes and markets. It will:
(a) provide UK industry with the underpinning science and the personnel from which to develop and commercially leverage innovative future technologies for the global marketplace;
(b) allow the UK to maintain its position as a world leader in the high-technology area of catalysis and reactor engineering;
(c) consolidate and establish the UK as the centre for catalysis expertise.

Likewise, society will benefit from the human and intellectual resource that the Centre will supply. The skills and technologies that will be developed within the Centre will be highly applicable to the fields of sustainable manufacture, efficient and clean energy generation, and the protection of the environment through the clean-up of air and water - allowing some of the biggest societal challenges to be addressed.


10 25 50