Catalysis is the centre-point of many chemical processes - from the academic research lab through living systems to the industrial large-scale reactor. Through a detailed understanding and careful use of catalysis many processes can be made faster, cleaner, economical and more sustainable. As such Cardiff University has established the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) within the School of Chemistry. The initiative has been supported directly by the University with financial support of over £2.3M.
We have established a centre of excellence for catalysis within the UK that builds upon the current strengths in research at Cardiff. Chemistry at Cardiff already has excellence in heterogeneous catalysis, homogeneous catalysis and biocatalysis and we bring these together within a single institute so that they can grow and provide the focal point for interdisciplinary interactions within Cardiff and externally with academia and industry.
Students and doctoral researchers working in lab
The School of Chemistry has set up its research activities into six main themes, specifically Chemical Biology; Heterogeneous Catalysis and Surface Science; Metals In Synthesis; Organic Synthesis [including Physical Organic Chemistry (POC)]; Solid State and Materials Chemistry; Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. The Cardiff Catalysis Institute involves staff from all six groups. Heterogeneous catalysis is closely allied to surface science and solid state chemistry and hence will include and impacts on academics working in these areas. Catalysis requires expertise in synthetic methodologies and this expertise is present in the CCI by collaborations with staff from Organic Synthesis; homogeneous catalysis especially is heavily reliant on organic and metal-organic synthesis. All areas of catalysis integrate closely with staff in the Computational Chemistry Group, and also utilise the kinetics and mechanistic skills of the Physical Organic Chemistry (POC) Centre.
The initial years of the CCI have gone well, and staff, both established and new, are committed to the continuing development of a centre of excellence in catalysis at Cardiff, building on the large number of strengths existing in catalysis, synthesis, theory and surface science.
Well equipped research laboratories
The development of the CCI is evident through the previous appointments such as Prof Stan Golunski to a position as Deputy Director; Prof Golunksi has a wide range of experience in environmental and process catalysis, having moved here from the world famous catalyst producer and speciality chemicals company Johnson Matthey. The CCI also has a commitment to leading young scientists and have awarded several Research Fellowships to Jenifer Edwards, Nikolaos Dimitratos, Ceri Hammond and Sankar Meenakshisundaram bring together expertise in in-situ spectroscopy, bio-renewable feedstock utilisation, photocatalysis and alkane activation.