Scheme: International Incoming Fellowships
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Dates: Apr 2006-Mar 2007
Summary: This project summary is not available for publication.
Scheme: Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship
Dates: Oct 2005-Sep 2006
Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards
Dates: Jan 2005-Dec 2009
Summary: Our research aims to develop metal-ligand coordination chemistry in three distinct areas; i. synthesis of porous metal organic materials for hydrogen and gas storage; ii. development of new catalysts for hydrogen production from water; iii. new ionophores for metal anion extraction. All three areas are of enormous technological, societal and environmental importance. The future of the “Hydrogen Economy” depends critically upon the development of new storage materials, as well as new routes to the production of pure hydrogen that do not rely on fossil fuels. Our research is delivering new porous, sponge-like materials that can hold and store hydrogen within its structures, and then release hydrogen cleanly and reversibly. The amount of hydrogen that can be stored in our current materials is especially high but not high enough to be used commercially. We are now working with General Motors to develop new generations of materials for higher capacity hydrogen storage. Hydrogen production is a key issue as well and our approach copies biology which has developed powerful catalysts called hydrogenases that convert water to hydrogen in bacteria. We are preparing metal complexes that mimic the active site of these enzymes and have successfully prepared active materials that catalyse hydrogen production from water. Our current materials are based upon Ni/Fe centres and thus fulfil these requirements. We are also investigating the use of designer molecules that can be used to extract, transport and recycle precious metals such as Pt. We have developed ligand systems that extract [PtCl6]2- in the presence of excess choride ion at low pH, conditions that are often found in waste and refining streams. We can extract [PtCl6]2- into organic phase and then release it back into aqueous phase by changing the pH. In this way we can recycle and purify [PtCl6]2- for subsequent re-use and have a process that recycles this anion almost quantitatively.