High throughput discovery of heterogeneous catalysts for long chain alcohol synthesis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Chemistry


The gradual depletion of crude oil reserves and increasing environmental concerns have driven scientific research on alternative processes for the production of commodity chemicals. Long chain alcohols are key components in the industrial production of detergents and surfactants This project will develop new catalyst systems for the transformation of waste CO2 into long chain alcohols, to develop a sustainable route to their manufacture.

This project will involve the high throughput synthesis of catalysts targeted to identify the optimum combination of active phases, promoters and supports, followed by structural characterization and rapid screening of their stability under catalysis conditions. The use of robotics systems will enable the parallel synthesis and characterisation of large libraries of catalysts under the same conditions. The stability test will be performed by the simultaneous ageing of samples under the catalysis conditions (gas mixture, temperature and pressure) and it will be used to prioritize the catalysts for the actual catalysis testing. The best emerging candidates of this search will be synthesised at larger scale and their activity on CO2/H2 conversion to long chain alcohol synthesis will be evaluated on a lab scale plug flow catalytic reactor. A series of analytical techniques (gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance etc.) will be employed for the analysis of the catalysis products where the expertise of Unilever will be crucial.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517574/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2024
2268908 Studentship EP/T517574/1 09/09/2019 08/12/2023 Alexander Ghannam