School Research Seminars
Professor Luca Lietti - Politecnico di Milano
Wednesday 6th October, 2020 - 16:00 - 17:00
In order to reduce the CO2 emissions and comply with international agreements, a strong increase in the use of renewable energy and in the carbon capture technologies is foreseen. Renewables are however intrinsically fluctuating sources, and this leads to periods of power overproduction which needs to be effectively stored. A valid solution is provided by the Power to Gas (PtG) technology. This process uses the excess power to split water and produce H2 (and valuable O2), which is then reacted with CO2 to form CH4 and H2O through the Sabatier reaction. Ni-based catalysts are used for COx methanation, but from a process intensification standpoint highly active Ru is of interest.
In this presentation the reactivity of Ru/Al2O3 catalysts in the PtG process will be investigated. The effect of the metal loading, of the active phase distribution and of the size of the catalytic support is considered, revealing insights on the optimal Ru loading and on the onset of transport limitations, which is relevant for process intensification where almost complete CO2 conversion is needed in compact reactors. The goal is to develop a once-through process producing a gas stream able to meet, without further purifications other than water removal, the stringent purity thresholds required for the direct injection in the gas grid. The reactivity of Ru-based catalysts in the combined CO2 capture and methanation process is also analyzed.
The idea is to capture CO2 from a CO2-containing stream (e.g. combustion flue gases) with a catalytic material (Dual functioning Material, DFM) that acts as a solid adsorbent, and then exposing the CO2-saturated material to a renewable H2-containing stream in order to produce CH4 and regenerate the adsorbent. In this context, mechanistic aspects involved in the CO2 storage and reduction to methane are analyzed by using a model Ru- Me (Me: K, Na, Ba, Ca, Mg) bifunctional catalysts. The interplay between the adsorbent material and the Ru active phase is investigated, and mechanistic implications are discussed.
Professor Thomas Wirth - Cardiff University
"Electrification of Synthesis and Advances in Flow Chemistry" - Wednesday 14th October, 2020 - 14:00 - 15:00
The direct electron transfer at electrode surfaces is one of the prototypical green technologies of the future and the use of microreactors further advances and simplifies that technology.
The development of a robust and flexible flow microreactor for electrochemistry will be discussed alongside applications in synthesis. Combination with subsequent reactions and inline reaction monitoring allow a rapid integration into synthesis. First examples of stereoselective iodine(III)-mediated reactions will be discussed.
Professor Peter Crowley - NUI Galway
"Macrocycle-mediated Protein Frameworks" - Wednesday 21st October, 2020 - 14:00 - 15:00
Precisely defined protein aggregates as exemplified by crystals have applications in functional materials. Consequently, engineered protein assembly is a rapidly growing field.
Anionic calix[n]arenes are useful scaffolds that can mould to cationic protein surfaces and induce oligomerisation / assembly. Here, we describe the fabrication of different types of protein frameworks via co-crystallization with sulfonato-calixarene. Calixarene-masked proteins act as nodes within the frameworks, displaying octahedral-type coordination in one case. Such supramolecular protein chemistry may benefit the development of biomaterials and therapeutics.
Dr Duncan Browne - University College London
"Underexplored Reactor Technologies as an Enabler of Collaborative Science" - Wednesday 28th October, 2020 - 14:00 - 15:00
This seminar will focus on the techniques of continuous processing and mechanochemistry/ball-milling in the context of organic chemistry and, through collaboration, their application to metal-free catalysis, synthesis of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and macrocyclic fragrances.
Dr Shaun McKinnie - UC Santa Cruz
Wednesday 11th November, 2020 - 16:00 - 17:00
Dr Stuart Cantrill - Nature Publishing Group
"The Nature of Chemistry Publishing" - Wednesday 18th November, 2020 - 14:00 - 15:00
This talk will take a behind-the-scenes look at Nature Chemistry’s editorial processes, as well as providing some guidance on how to write a paper, how to write an abstract and some DOs and DON'Ts when it comes to titles and graphical abstracts – there will also be some advice on how best to appeal an editorial decision. In addition, there will be a broader consideration of peer review in general, the wider chemistry publishing landscape and also other aspects related to scientific publishing including metrics (impact factor, altmetrics, and so on) and the use of social media.
Stuart Cantrill is a graduate of the University of Birmingham in the UK, Stu obtained his PhD in chemistry from UCLA in 2001 (working with Fraser Stoddart), followed by postdoctoral research at Caltech (working with Bob Grubbs). In 2003, he returned to UCLA to tackle a number of different roles, including lecturer, research associate, administrative consultant to the California NanoSystems Institute, and his first job in journal publishing — running an editorial office for the ACS journal Organic Letters. In 2006, Stu returned to the UK to join Nature Publishing Group (now Springer Nature) where he was first an associate and then senior editor at Nature Nanotechnology. In early 2008, he was appointed to be the founding Chief Editor of Nature Chemistry, which launched in April 2009. His main research interests were in the fields of supramolecular chemistry, self-assembly processes and interlocked molecules. But he’s now fascinated by scholarly communication — particularly in chemistry — and how it might be changing in the not-too-distant future. He (very occasionally) blogs about chemistry, gin and related topics at Chemical Connections (http://stuartcantrill.com) and probably tweets a bit too much.