Research by a team at Northumbria University’s School of Applied Sciences, led by computational chemist Dr Marcus Durrant, has developed a radical approach to the development of new catalysts - the vital components found in the manufacture of many of the world’s most commonly used products.
Major advances in software and computer technology over the past five years have enabled Durrant’s team to develop a new computerised approach for designing catalysts, which previously required labour intensive and costly experimental methods for their development.
Dr Durrant is recognised as a leading light in UK Computational Chemistry. His specialist interest is in biologically inspired computerised chemistry – bringing together evolutionary biology with computational chemistry, which uses quantum chemistry calculations. His radical new research was published in a European Chemistry Journal earlier this year.
Dr Durrant says: “Catalysts are used right across industry and are essential in drug production and the production of plastics for example. However, speeding up the process and developing new catalysts has previously been a hit and miss and laborious task.
“Traditional catalyst development involves an experimental approach in which chemists must identify potential catalysts, prepare them by chemical synthesis and measure their catalytic properties experimentally. This method requires a significant amount of experimental knowledge, time and money in order to identify promising lead compounds.”
Now Dr Durrant and his team have joined forces with Procter & Gamble to trial their new approach on real industrial problems.
Using the new technique computer-generated programmes will do battle, ensuring the survival of the fittest catalysts. 2,000 days worth of computer time will be used to complete the project for P&G, with over 500 complex calculations, each taking up to five days to complete. This radical new approach is ideal for tackling problems where more traditional experimental chemistry has struggled to find the answers.
Dr. Mike Addison, Business Development Manager at P&G says: "We were delighted when Northumbria approached us with a very exciting research and development proposal to help us identify new catalysts for our products. Northumbria's approach to catalyst development is entirely computer-based and has the potential to identify particularly promising structures behind which to invest synthesis effort. If successful the approach offers a major advance in catalyst development.
“P&G is committed to serving the needs of the worlds’ consumers now and for generations to come. Catalysts are particularly important to achieving many of the transformations consumers need and want in a sustainable way, it is therefore entirely fitting for P&G to be involved in this cutting edge project.”
The partnership between Northumbria University and Procter & Gamble has been facilitated by Northumbria Commercial Enterprises, the University’s specialist division responsible for matching academic expertise with industrial need.
Graham Hopson, Commercialisation Manager at Northumbria Commercial Enterprises says: “We are delighted to have facilitated this important partnership between the University and P&G. We offer a range of services to business clients and this is a clear example of how ground breaking academic research can be used to potentially tackle real industrial problems.”
Katrina Alnikizil | alfa
Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel
Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy