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Theme 1: Enabling Technologies for Circular Chemical Economy

Bio / thermal diagram shows waste or biomass being passed into the unit, then syngas and carbon dioxide coming out of the upper outlet and crude oil and other chemicals coming out of the lower outlet.
Hydrogenolysis diagram shows waste polymers going being passed the unit, through hydrogen, then monomers and bulk chemicals coming out the other side.

Electrochemical diagram shows carbon dioxide being passed into the unit where a voltage is run through elements in order to output syngas and Olefins from the other side.

To enable a circular chemical economy our theme is developing new, and advancing existing, technologies that take waste and convert it back into useful products for use in the chemicals industry in a sustainable way. We are exploring three inter-related pathways to achieve this goal. Firstly we are researching catalysts that can convert some plastic wastes back into useful short carbon chain products such as fuels and oils. Secondly we are examining how to improve biological processes to breakdown hard to recycle waste into useful carbon based products such as bio-oils. Finally we are developing systems that can use electricity and water to drive the conversion of carbon dioxide back into higher energy feedstock’s for the chemical industry.

Current Research Focus:

We are currently researching the following subject areas and would welcome collaborations with both industry and academia:

  • Catalysis
  • Green hydrogen/electrolysis
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Carbon dioxide capture/utilisation
  • Ethylene production

Team members