Catalysis lies at the heart of the chemicals industry. In recent years the UK output has totalled over £50 billion annually and is ranked seventh in the world. The UK has maintained its strong position despite immense competition worldwide, but it is essential that innovation in research continues. The UK Catalysis Hub was established in 2013 with this aim.
The science of the UK Catalysis Hub was built round the four themes of design, environment catalysis, energy and chemical transformations. It has supported 82 novel and topical projects in catalytic science (e.g. catalysis for deNOx reactions; biobutanol production and use) and strategically relevant problems such as water purification, particulate destruction in automotive exhaust and clean hydrogen production. Biocatalysis & Biotransformations was added as an additional theme in 2015.
Looking forward, the UK Catalysis Hub will focus on developing new catalytic processes for more effective use of water and energy, waste minimisation, and material reuse and reduction in gaseous emissions. It will have various impacts:
- Society and Environment: contributing towards environmental sustainability through reduced waste, increased energy and water efficiency and increased use of bio-sourced materials.
- Economic: through increases in R&D productivity and industrial capability.
- People: through delivery and training of highly skilled researchers in all areas of catalytic science and engineering.
- Outreach and Engagement: contributing to disseminating the new methodologies and processes to the academic and industrial communities; increased public awareness and understanding of the scientific, engineering, economic and societal issues associated with catalytic processes.
The UK Catalysis Hub has five main themes of research:
- Catalyst Design
- Catalysis for Energy
- Catalysis for Chemical Transformations
- Environmental Catalysis
- Bio Catalysis & BioTransformations