Coordination chemistry approaches to societal issues: environment and health

Lead Research Organisation: University of Hull
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

This Overseas Travel Grant (OTG) will bring together internationally recognised laboratories to tackle issues ranging from new anti-cancer compounds to forming plastics with desirable environmental properties (the ability to degrade better in landfill sites). Although the OTG is not going to be generating research in itself, the discussions with the Chinese and Japanese groups will themselves lead to the research. All of the projects stand a far greater chance of success if the PI can visit the named groups in order to execute effective face-to-face collaboration and pave the way for further developments. A number of research themes have been identified herein, which will run in parallel, namely
[1] Designing new catalysts for plastic production. The plastics will be biodegradable polymers to address current issues with landfill sites.
[2] New metal-based anti-cancer and/or imaging agents will be developed and screened in the new state-of-the-art PET centre at Hull.
[3] Use of multi-dentate anionic ligands at niobium to provide access to new metathesis catalysts.
[4] Evaluation of vanadium-based calixarene compounds to act as heterogeneous catalysts for a variety of processes to include oxidative dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene (with CO2) and that of n-butane; the polymerization of vinylidene difluoride is also of interest.
[5] New metal-metal bonded chemistry and application thereof to the activation of small molecules, for example alkyne activation.
Much of the synthetic work conducted in these projects in the various laboratories will be guided by molecular modelling conducted in Japan (Escano, Fukui University). The six Far East research groups involved have been selected given that they contribute complementary expertise to that available in the PIs group in Hull, with a mix of organic synthesis, computational chemistry and materials evaluation, and will allow access to state-of-the-art equipment that is not available in Hull or indeed readily available elsewhere the UK.

Planned Impact

At the scientific level, this proposal is focused on exploring new science in the Medicine, Materials and Sustainability domain by integrating the research of six groups, three from China and three from Japan, with those of the PI at Hull. Discussions are proposed on three intensive research themes which should allow us to open up new science in the three-year period of this OTG and allow the PI to contribute at an internationally competitive level, impacting in areas of science of societal importance. These areas will be impacted directly by deepening collaboration between the PI and the Far East Participants. Seminars/workshops (larger workshops with be funded through other schemes such as the Newton Fund/British Council or local agencies in China/Japan) involving the PI will prove to be useful recruitment tools, whereby overseas researchers (PhD students and/or PDRAs) bring their fellowships/scholarships to the UK. A workshop in Hong Kong at minimal cost to this OTG will be held to enhance UK/China/Japan interactions.
UK researchers may also wish to take up fellowships in China/Japan (for example, Saga University runs the SIPOP scheme which will fully fund incoming overseas students for a 3 year PhD studentship), and the PI will be ideally placed to broker such 'deals'. Furthermore, TMU has available a fellowship scheme for sending PhD students overseas for a period of months, and has indicated that the PIs lab is a potential destination.
Such exchange of researchers between the UK and the Far East will offer new cultural experiences for those involved, leading to better cross-cultural understanding and a positive impact on UK/China/Japan relations. As this is a travel grant, justification of manpower for each research theme has not been included, however it should be emphasized that each of the named groups has in place significant manpower working on complementary science, whilst the PIs laboratory currently has 5 PhD students working on these projects with support from Cancer Charities and the University of Hull. Results obtained from this OTG will be used in grant proposals of future funding schemes/calls to ensure continuity. Each research theme will have impact: For the polymerization catalysis projects: the availability of new biodegradable polymers with desirable properties would impact on everyday life. This is topical given the current issues with landfill sites, which are an increasingly worrying issue both in the UK and the Far East. The heterogeneous catalysis project aims to provide greener and more cost effective routes to a number of processes, and at the same time will lead to the characterization of new catalytic species.
The metal-metal bonded work has the potential to not only provide new and intriguing coordination chemistry, but also result in atom efficient routes to useful reagents, for example aromatics. Furthermore, many of the compounds generated can be fed (as ligands) into the other projects described herein.
The metal-based anti-cancer/imaging work involves development of compounds that ensure a localised effect is targeted to a specific organ or indeed cell type. For the patient, this can give reduced side effects and fewer visits for treatment, adding to the quality of their life. Industries in both the UK and Far East will also benefit from new highly skilled personnel trained via these multidisciplinary projects. Academics: The planned projects will benefit the Hull, Chinese and Japanese research groups, and the international chemistry community in general through dissemination of the results. Impact of research results will be maximized via publication in peer reviewed leading international journals and presented at national (RSC) and international conferences (ACS). This will be supplemented by editorials, focus articles and, if appropriate, through the general media.

Publications

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Ignaszak A (2018) Vanadyl sulfates: molecular structure, magnetism and electrochemical activity. in Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003)

 
Description New catalysts for accessing polymers which degrade faster than polyethylene have been made.
Exploitation Route If activity and scale up can be optimized then may be of commercial interest. Probably need to change the metal centres.
Sectors Chemicals,Environment

URL https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2019/dt/c8dt04566f#!divAbstract
 
Description Lecture at Guizhou University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Research lecture with a group I already collaborate - idea here was to generate some new ideas going forward.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lecture at Kyushu University, Japan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture at Kyushu University, Japan with a view to possible future collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lecture at National Institute of Technology, Akashi College, Kobe 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lecture at National Institute of Technology, Akashi College, Kobe as part of an international workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.akashi.ac.jp/english/archives/1396
 
Description Lecture at Northwest University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This talk was aimed at selling the Uk and Hull to undergraduates with the hope that they would consider UK-based postgraduate studies using the CSC scheme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lecture at Tokyo Metropolitan University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture at Tokyo Metropolitan University to promote research collaboration and exchange of students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lecture at workshop at Jiaxing University and Chaired a session 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture at workshop at Jiaxing University and Chaired a session. Possible future research collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GGRV_enGB754GB754&q=Jiaxing+University+seminar+carl+redshaw&tbm...