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CASTech (Catalytic Advances through Sustainable Technologies), a five-year £5 million project that started in 2009, is funded by the EPSRC and industry and involves a close collaboration between Queen’s University and the Universities of Cambridge, Birmingham and Virginia (USA) with strong industrial support from Johnson Matthey plc (catalysts and speciality chemicals) , Robinson Brothers Limited (speciality chemicals), Sasol (energy and chemicals), Borregaard (lignosulfonates) Forestry Research (research into woodlands and forestry) and Questor.

This multidisciplinary research programme, encompassing the broad spectrum of expertise from chemical engineering through experimental catalysis to computational research, is focused on the application of fundamental knowledge to applied problems. A major aspect of the applied research programme is concerned the catalytic conversion of renewable feedstocks for energy and speciality chemicals production.