Catalytic Science in the Harwell Research Centre

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

Catalysis is a core area of science that lies at the heart of the chemicals industry - an immensely successful and important part of the overall UK economy, where in recent years the UK output has totalled over 50B and is ranked 7th in the world. This position is being maintained in the face of immense competition worldwide. For the UK to maintain its leading position it is essential that innovation in research is maintained, which can be achieved through bringing together the internationally leading academic activity that exists in the UK in this key area of contemporary science. We therefore, aim to create a Centre for Catalysis at the central facilities which will help to keep the UK at the forefront of this crucial scientific and technological sector. The Centre will be established in the Research Complex at Harwell which will allow us both to work closely with the central facilities, to whose development the project will also contribute, and to interact with and contribute to the broader scientific community on the Harwell/RAL Campus The major developments in the in situ characterisation of catalytic materials that have taken place in the recent years have been of immense importance in addressing the complex scientific problems posed by catalytic science The Centre will therefore in pursuing a wide ranging programme of research in catalytic science, develop state-of-the art in situ facilities that will be used for experiments to be conducted at the Diamond, Synchrotron Radiation, ISIS Neutron Scattering and Central Laser Facilities. Such experiments will allow us to probe the structure and evolution of catalysts at the molecular level during their operation; but their effectiveness will require the on-line studies to be integrated with off line experimentation in the Complex, within which we will establish a broad range of experimental facilities. An extensive programme of applications will be undertaken, with strong emphasis on the following central themes in contemporary catalytic science:* Sustainable Catalyst Technologies for Organic Transformations* Catalysis for alternative fuels* Catalysis in the Protection of the EnvironmentBy coordinating the expertise of the collaborative groups, in novel areas of catalytic science enabled by the facilities on the Harwell/RAL campus, we will provide a platform for new initiatives that will provide a hub for UK catalysis research and will give substantial added value to the existing investment in catalytic science. Moreover by working together, the UK scientific team will be able take centre stage and lead the world in this crucial field.The impact of the Centre will be further promoted by a vigorous and effective dissemination strategy which will develop strong interactions with a wide range of academic and industrial groups and with the broader scientific community.

Planned Impact

The establishment of the proposed Centre in the Research Complex at Harwell will have wide ranging benefits and impact on the academic community and on industrial and manufacturing sectors in the UK; it will also have broader economic, environmental and social impact. The chemical sector is a major component of UK industry, and includes global players such as GSK, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Johnson Matthey, BP and Unilever. Catalysis is at the heart of these industries and the underpinning fundamental science developed by the Centre will be of key importance in the development of future technologies. The impact on the academic community will be broad. The Centre will promote further collaborations between leading groups in catalytic science, but will also have impact on other disciplines including biosciences, materials and computational science. By contributing to facilities development the project will also benefit the broader user community. Societal impact will follow from advances enabled by the research in sustainable manufacturing leading to greener and cleaner processes and products with reduced environmental impact. Contributions will also be made to the provision of sustainable energy and reductions in energy demands of manufacturing sectors. Additional societal impact will follow from the role of the fundamental research undertaken by the Centre in assisting the development of advanced routes to new pharmaceutical products. The UK economy will benefit from the role of the Centre in assisting innovation in catalysis manufacture. The large and successful chemical sector, including over 3200 companies and a dynamic SME component, faces intense international competition. The collaborations and interactions both within the Centre and between the Centre and Industry will promote economic impact, which will extend beyond the chemical sector to industries that rely on advances in materials and processes, including automotive, aerospace and electronics sectors. Knowledge exchange will be vigorously promoted by the Centre through greater integration between the participating research groups and their extensive networks of collaborations and with scientists and facilities on the Harwell/RAL campus. This exchange will lead to scientific advances not only in the development of state-of-the-art equipment but also in sustainable chemical processes. The people benefits and impact will be substantial by the provision of trained research workers whose skills will be necessary for R&D programmes required for market innovation to occur. The management and dissemination plans are designed to maximise impact. The Management Board at the Centre will monitor and advise on impact and the annual dissemination conference will be aimed at the key beneficiaries. The collaborating team have wide ranging experience in the dissemination of their science and the promotion of its impact.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The Centre for Catalytic Science in the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH) hasestablished itself as a focal point for catalytic science in the UK with a vibrant in house programme of research with state-of-the art facilities for catalysis research and strong engagement with both the synchrotron and neutron facilities on the Harwell/RAL campus. The Center is beginning to develop a strong relationship with the Central laser Facility and the application of advance spectroscopy techniques to new ares in catalysis collaboration has seen a and with other programmes within the RCaH. The Centre is now the physical hub for the recently established national "Uk Catalysis Hub" project funded by EPSRC. By October 2013, it will have 20 full time staff (research fellows, research assistants and PhD students). It is already producing outputs in key areas of catalytic science including photocatalysis, microporous and oxide catalytic processes.
Exploitation Route The development of the Catalysis Centre at Harwell has provided strong scientifi foundations that are being further developed in part by the UK Catalysis Hub, the Facilities developed (and being developed on this project are accessed by a winde arange of researchers, students and academics in the field of catalysis. The Custom Labs developed at the research compex are critical for the developent of cuting edge research within the UK catalysis Hub and catalysis Community
Sectors Chemicals,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description CASE Award x 3 in association with the Catalysis Hub (Southampton and Glasgow)
Amount £207,000 (GBP)
Organisation Johnson Matthey 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Impact Acceleration Fellowships
Amount £142,435 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M010538/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 07/2016
 
Description Industrial CASE Award
Amount £69,524 (GBP)
Organisation Johnson Matthey 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 01/2018
 
Title XAFS DRIFTS methods 
Description WE have developed a flow system, gas handling and use of a DRIFS spectrometer in combination with XAFS ( at both diamond light source and ESRF) to study insitu and operando catalysis reactions looking at the reaction and structure of the catalysis to increase mechanistic and fundamental understanding of catalytic processes the expertise and equipment through BLock access to B18 on diamond light-source is now available as a resource for the community 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact A number of publications have arisen from this research tool, additional funding for development of a flow Cell as been secured as an INDUSTRIAL CASE award 
 
Description C*Change Catalysis Network south africa 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Department Department of Oceanography
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Organisation of network meeting between C*Change members and the Catalysis Hub leading to at least one Diamond beam line experiment as a collaboration (results pending)
Collaborator Contribution intellect input and samples of collaborative experiments for Catalysis using Diamond lightsource
Impact succesful beam time applications
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with Ceri Hammond on research leading to publications 
Organisation Cardiff University
Department Cardiff Catalysis Institute
PI Contribution Ceri traveld to the Hub and Centre at Harwell to collaborate on research wirth N Dimitratos leading to work including N. Dimitratos, C. Hammond, P. P. Wells; Liquid phase oxidation using Au-based catalyst; Book chapter in Gold Catalysis: Preparation, Characterization and Applications (2015) Pan Stanford Publishing
Collaborator Contribution work on gold nanoparticles
Impact Publications N. Dimitratos, C. Hammond, P. P. Wells; Liquid phase oxidation using Au-based catalyst; Book chapter in Gold Catalysis: Preparation, Characterization and Applications (2015) Pan Stanford Publishing
Start Year 2013
 
Description Collaboration with ISIS neutron and muon source and Johnson Matthe and development of a special edition of PCCP 
Organisation Johnson Matthey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution In association with ISIS the Hub held a workshop on, "Neutron Techniques in Catalysis" in Nov 2014. There were a mix of delegates from industry and academia, with over fifty attendees. This helped to provide training and knowledge transfer to catalytic community who may previously not have used neutrons leading to a range of new users including Johnson Matthey, Academics from Southampton university and UCL. Following this workshop scientists from ISIS, The Catalysis Hub and Johnson Matthey proposed and led a special issue of PCCP edition, "Neutron scattering in catalysis and energy materials"
Collaborator Contribution talks and co organsiation of papers, "Neutron Techniques in Catalysis" in Nov 2014 knowledge and interaction and the contribution of papers and newtork expertise for special issue of PCCP edition, "Neutron scattering in catalysis and energy materials"
Impact special edition of PCCP Neutron scattering in catalysis and energy materials" and increasing use of ISIS beamtime for catalysis research and recognition of the importance of neutron techniques for Johnson matthey (industrial) especially in the region of automotive catalysis and Selective catalytic reduction
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with ISIS neutron and muon source and Johnson Matthe and development of a special edition of PCCP 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
Department ISIS Neutron and Muon Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution In association with ISIS the Hub held a workshop on, "Neutron Techniques in Catalysis" in Nov 2014. There were a mix of delegates from industry and academia, with over fifty attendees. This helped to provide training and knowledge transfer to catalytic community who may previously not have used neutrons leading to a range of new users including Johnson Matthey, Academics from Southampton university and UCL. Following this workshop scientists from ISIS, The Catalysis Hub and Johnson Matthey proposed and led a special issue of PCCP edition, "Neutron scattering in catalysis and energy materials"
Collaborator Contribution talks and co organsiation of papers, "Neutron Techniques in Catalysis" in Nov 2014 knowledge and interaction and the contribution of papers and newtork expertise for special issue of PCCP edition, "Neutron scattering in catalysis and energy materials"
Impact special edition of PCCP Neutron scattering in catalysis and energy materials" and increasing use of ISIS beamtime for catalysis research and recognition of the importance of neutron techniques for Johnson matthey (industrial) especially in the region of automotive catalysis and Selective catalytic reduction
Start Year 2015
 
Description collaboration with Lennon Group From Glasgow university 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosting mentoring and consulting on the projects of two CASE Students from Glasgow who are seconded to Harwell with the Catalysis Hub. Providing access to Catalysis hub analysis and testing equipment
Collaborator Contribution Aligning two case Students with the Hub research portfolio and ethos.
Impact ongoing leading to two PHDs
Start Year 2016
 
Description 18TH INTERNATIONAL ZEOLITE CONFERENCE 19-24TH JUNE, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Arun Chitia gave a talk theoretical studies on the active site of Tin and cobalt substituted AFI
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 2 talks atXAFS 2015 Karlsruhe, Germany, September 2015 - oral presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 2 taks on XAFS and XAFS/Drifts at the confernce
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description 2 talksand 2 posters at The science of Co2 capture and conversion , Varaderro Cuba 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Emma gibson (catalysis Hub), Scott rogers,Peter Wells (catalysis at Harwell), Alexander O'mallet and Pierre Senecal (related to impact project) gave talsk at the Science of CO2 conference in Cuba and spoke to the British ambassador in Cub as well as interacting with the international community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description EPR and Catalysis 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Catalysis Hub sponsored a one day (July 22, 2016) meeting devoted to EPR (or ESR) spectroscopy in catalysis research. The symposium focused on the broad range of applications for advanced EPR techniques in the study of catalytic systems, including heterogeneous, homogeneous and biological examples and more broadly for the investigation of advanced materials. The invited speakers covered topics including radicals and defects on metal oxide surfaces, earth abundant metals in homogeneous catalysis, spin-trapping techniques for the detection of free radical radicals in solution and applications of EPR for the investigation of complex materials. The symposium offered a non-technical introduction to EPR spectroscopy, exemplifying and demonstrating the power of the technique for studies in catalysis. The event was attended by over forty attendees, including numerous PhD students, with participants from Industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Harwell Open Day - catalysis Marquee 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We hosted a catalysis Marquee with demonstrations and activities including a fuel cell car, bio waste reactor, gold catalysis photocatalysis and fuels
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.harwellcampus.com/open-days/
 
Description Lasers for Catalysis 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Lasers for Catalysis
The UK Catalysis Hub in collaboration with the Central Laser Facility (STFC) arranged a one day workshop (May 2016) on the use of Laser techniques in for Catalysis. The workshop combined talks from Laser scientists and users. Prior knowledge was not needed and the workshop was aimed at increasing knowledge of laser techniques in the catalysis community. The event was attended by approximately fifty members of the Catalysis Hub and has already succeeded in promoting the use of laser technology in catalytic science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Leading a Faraday Discussion on Catalysis organised by the RSC April 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Designing New Heterogeneous Catalysts: Faraday Discussion
4 - 6 April 2016, London, United Kingdom
Catalysis is a core area of contemporary science posing major fundamental and conceptual challenges, while being at the heart of the chemical industry. It is a major theme in chemical sciences and engineering that underlies much of the key research and teaching in these subjects.
At this discussion, we will bring the catalysis community together to discuss the theme of designing new heterogeneous catalysts. Catalysis plays a crucial part in the production of 80% of all manufactured goods. We will explore the modern methods used to design new catalysts and how the approaches can bridge across the disciplines of physical sciences and chemical engineering
Themes
Catalyst design from theory to practice
In this session, we will explore how modern theoretical methods are aiding the design of new heterogeneous catalysts. This will invariably provide interplay between mechanism and the active site
Designing new catalysts: synthesis of new active structures
In this session, we will discuss ways in which new nanoparticulate structures can play a role in designing new active centres. How they can be prepared and their catalytic properties explored
Bridging model and real catalysts
We will discuss how modern methods in surface science and microscopy can aid the design of new catalysts. Recent advances in methodologies are enabling model surface science studies and real catalysts come closer together. This session will explore the nature of active catalyst sites
Application of novel catalysts
In this session we aim to show how new catalyst designs can find important applications that address key challenges facing society at this time, such as energy and water purification
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.rsc.org/events/detail/16840/designing-new-heterogeneous-catalysts-faraday-discussion
 
Description Neutrons in Catalysis 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The UK Catalysis Hub, in association with the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility, hosted and ran a two-day meeting about neutron scattering with an emphasis on catalytically relevant techniques. The meeting took place at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), and aimed to encourage use of the neutron facilities available both at ISIS and beyond. Speakers from ISIS and international neutron sources gave talks about a range of techniques used to probe catalyst systems, these were then complemented by successful examples and case studies by experienced users. Prior knowledge of neutron techniques was not needed, and current users were also encouraged to come and broaden their knowledge of associated techniques. Over fifty attendees from academic and industrial institutions across the UK attended the event. The workshop also included a lively poster session sponsored by Johnson Matthey and dinner to facilitate further discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Oral presentation and poster at Operando V, Deauville, France May 2015 - poster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact E gibson )Catalysis Hub) and P Wells (Catalysis at Harwell) gave excellent talks on techniques developed by the hub and the centre at Harwell
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Organiation and participation of a Royal society Discussion meeting Catalysis improving society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The successful operation of catalysis lies at the heart of the wellbeing of society and this meeting will address modern developments in designing improved catalysts especially in non traditional application areas such as water purification. We will bring together scientists across the breadth of catalysis (heterogeneous, homogeneous and bio) bridging the expertise of chemists, engineers, bio-scientists and theoreticians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2015/06/catalysis-dm/
 
Description Organisation of a Royal society satellite meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Catalysis making the world a better place
Scientific meeting

Satellite meeting organised by Professor Graham Hutchings FRS, Professor Richard Catlow FRS, Professor Christopher Hardacre and Professor Matthew Davidson

Catalysis image
Event details

This satellite meeting will address modern developments in designing improved catalysts for environmental benefit. We will bring together scientists across the breadth of catalysis (heterogeneous, homogeneous and bio) bridging the expertise of chemists, engineers, bio-scientists and theoretician
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2015/06/catalysis-sm/
 
Description Spotlight on drifts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact this is an informative piece and lead to more use of the machine
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ses.ac.uk/2017/09/27/drifts-spectrometer/
 
Description Talks at the International congress on Catalysis Beijing 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact the Catalysis hub and catalysis at Harwell had a strong presence at the ICC with a number of excellent talks and increasing international recognition
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.chemistryviews.org/details/event/2206121/16th_International_Congress_on_Catalysis_ICC_201...
 
Description UK Catalysis Hub Conferences 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Catalysis Hub runs two conferences per year for members of the Hub and for the wider catalysis community. These conferences showcase catalysis research focusing on the work of the Hub. Speakers include researchers from the Catalysis Hub and internationally renowned speakers and industrialists who cover a range of topics including biocatalysis, homogeneuos and heterogeneous catalysis, reaction engineering and industrial catalysis. In addition, poster sessions highlights the projects across the Hub and provide a lively forum for discussion and dissemination of catalytic science.
One aim of the UK Catalysis Hub is to develop the next generation of researchers. To facilitate this aim, the UK Catalysis Hub arranges an annual summer conference focusing on providing a forum for the research associates to present their work and interact. Attendance at the conferences is consistently over 100 people. Dinner speakers have included EPSRC, international academics and industrialists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016,2017
 
Description Working at the Bio-Chemo Interface 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The UK Catalysis Hub organised an event jointly sponsored by the EPSRC Catalysis Hub and BBSRC BIOCATNET to stimulate and encourage collaborations at the interface of hetero-/homogeneous catalysis and biocatalysts. This event was attended by over eighty people from both traditional chemo catalysis and the biocatalysts community. Talks covered a wide range of topics including Hydrogen Activation, Biorefining, Biofuels, Synthesis, Modelling artificial enzymes, Upstream and Downstream Processing and Miniaturisation. The event was attended by 60 sciences from across both the Bio and Chemical catalysis community and from Industry and academia. Spirited discussions at the networking opportunities lead to a number of the proposals submitted to the bio transformations theme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016