My research is concerned with sustainable catalytic engineering. Key areas of current focus include:
- the application of waste or low-value co-products in catalysis. For example current projects are examining carbon dioxide as a chemical feedstock; the valorisation of glycerol; the use of food and agricultural waste (e.g. brewers spent grain) as a raw material; and biochar derived carbons as active catalytic materials
- petrochemical processing. Dehydrogenation, alylation, cracking and methanol-to-hydrocrabon reactions are all currently being investigated in my research group.
- catalyst deactivation and activation through coking. Coke deposition is ubiquitous in catalysis and is normally assocaited with deactivation. However in some cases coke can enhance catalytic performance and we are seeking to understand and exploit this phenomenon.
- innovative characterisation techniques. We work with colleagues to apply novel techniques to the field of catalysis, e.g. optical tweezers.