Professor Graham Hutchings

Professor Graham Hutchings

Professor of Physical Chemistry and Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Email:
hutch@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4059
Fax:
+44 (0)29 2087 4030
  • The study of gold nanocrystals as novel active heterogeneous catalysts and their characterisation.
  • The design of selective oxidation and hydrogenation catalysts and their study using in situ spectroscopy.
  • Designing novel heterogeneous catalysts

Links

Honours and awards

Prizes/ Distinctions
* Langmuir Distinguished Lecturer Award, Division of Colloid and Surface,Science, ACS, August 1996.
* Member of the Fachbeirat of the Fritz-Haber-Institut, Berlin, 1999-2015.
* Member of Sasol (South Africa) Heterogeneous Catalysis Advisory Board : 2000-2009.
* Member of NIOK International Review Group 2000, 2006, 2010 (Chair).
* DGMK 2001 – Kolleg Lectureship, Germany, 2001.
* Invited Professor in Residence at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, 2003-4.
* IChemE Entech Medal 2004.
* Appointed RAE panel member for Chemistry (Panel 18) 2005-2008.
* RSC 2004 Award for Heterogeneous Catalysis.
* 2006 François Gault Lecturer of the European Federation of Catalysis Societies
* I Chem E Impact Award for Applied Catalysis 2005.
* RSC Green Chemistry Lecturer 2007.
* IChemE Environwise Award for Green Chemistry 2007.
* Winner Dow Methane Challenge 24th January 2008.
* Elected Fellow of the Royal Society 2009
* RSC Award for Surfaces and Interfaces 2009
* I Chem E Sustainability Award 2009
* Appointed chair of SCORE 2010-2013
* Elected member Academia Europaea September 2010
* Elected Founding Fellow Learned Society of Wales
* Appointed REF Panel member and Deputy Chair for Chemistry (Panel B8) 2011-2014.
* Appointed President Elect of the Faraday Division of RSC 2010 President 2012-2015.
* IPMI Henry J. Albert Award 2011
* France Great Britain Chemistry Prize 2011
* Dechema Alvin Mittasch Award 2012
* International Association of Catalysis Societies Heinz Heinemann Award 2012
* Thompson Reuters Citation Laureate September 2012
* Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Catalysis Society of South Africa, 2013.
* Royal Society Davy Medal 2013
* Dewar Lectureship, Queen Mary College, London.
* Thompson Reuters Most Cited Scientist Award 2014

Education and Qualifications:
1972 - BSc in Chemistry with First Class Honours, University College London
1975 - PhD in Biological Chemistry, University College London. Supervisor: Prof C Vernon
2002 - DSc (University of London)

Professional Appointments:
1975 - 1984 ICI Petrochemicals Division
1975 - 1978  Technical Officer, Research Department Wilton, Teeside
1978 - 1981  Plant Manager and Production Support manager, Oil Works, Teeside
1981 - 1983  Senior Research Officer, AECI, Modderfontein, S Africa (Seconded)
1983 - 1984   Chief Research Officer, AECI, Modderfontein, S Africa (Seconded)
1984 - 1987  University of Witwatersrand, S Africa
1984 - 1987  Lecturer (1984-6),Senior Lecturer (1986-7)in Chemistry
1987 - Professor
1987 - 1997  University of Liverpool
1987 - 1994 Assistant Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Innovative Catalysis
1994 - 1997 Deputy Director and Professor
1997 - 2009 Cardiff University
1997 - 2006 Head of School and Professor of Physical Chemistry
2006 - present Distinguished Research Professor
2008 - present  Director: Cardiff Catalysis Institute
2010 - 2012 Pro Vice-Chancellor Research

  • The study of gold nanocrystals as novel active heterogeneous catalysts and their characterisation.
  • The design of selective oxidation and hydrogenation catalysts and their study using in situ spectroscopy.
  • Designing novel heterogeneous catalysts

Supported gold and gold palladium alloy catalysts have been found to be particularly effective for a number of selective oxidation reactions. Supporting gold on graphite or activated carbon makes catalysts that can oxidise alkenes with molecular oxygen under mild conditions. New gold palladium catalysts have been designed that can be used under inherently safe, non-explosive conditions. The gold palladium nanocrystals have been found to have both core shell structure as well as being homogenous alloys and can give exceptionally high rates of synthesis without making water as a by-product. The same catalysts have been shown to be equally effective for the oxidation of primary alcohols using oxygen under mild solvent-free conditions.   We have found that benzyl alcohol can be oxidised using oxygen under mild reaction conditions (100-160 °C) in the absence of solvent to give benzaldehyde in high selectivity will a yield of over 90%. Other alcohols can also be reacted and, in particular, primary alcohols, which are normally very unreactive can readily be oxidised. This work has been extended to new oxidation target reactions, including hydrocarbon oxidation. We have found that toluene can be selectively oxidized to benzoyl benzoate using supported gold palladium alloy catalysts prepared using a sol-immobilisation method. In addition we have found a non complex method for removing residual ligands that can remain on the surface of metal nanoparticles prepared using the sol- immobilsation method. Research in the group is now actively investigating the oxidation of methane and other alkanes.