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Research Fellows Directory

Guy Lloyd-Jones

Professor Guy Lloyd-Jones

Research Fellow


University of Bristol

Research summary

The general objective of my research is to understand catalysed reactions, particularly those catalysed by transition metals. A catalyst accelerates a reaction but is not destroyed in the process, allowing it to be used again and again. They can exert remarkable control, not just accelerating a reaction, but also changing its direction to yield a completely different set of products. By understanding the pathway that the catalyst takes, and the activation barriers that impede flux along that pathway, one can in principle design new catalysts. There are such a vast number of catalyst permutations that can be conceived on paper, so finding the right one quickly is important. However, in most cases finding the 'right' one for a process still relies predominantly on trial-and-error. My research programmes aim to identify the underlying factors that control the relative activity of a series of catalysts. We are doing this in two distinct ways. In one approach we analyse a wide range of catalysts and use statistical techniques to sift out and weight the factors that are most important, affording a simple useful tool for design. This 'predictive catalysis' has now been applied in house by our industrial collaborators; and has led to savings totalling some hundreds of thousands of pounds. In our second approach we focus on just one or two catalysts and, by way of modern spectroscopic and analytical techniques, extract detailed information regarding intermediates in the catalytic cycle. This approach often shows prior mechanistic interpretations to be flawed and also yields new insights to allow a revised model and the logical improvement of the catalyst design

Grants awarded

Catalyst Cartography: Predicting Better Pathways for Chemical Reactions

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Aug 2008 - Jul 2013

Value: £70,000

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