Research Fellows Directory
Dr Nathan Patmore
University of Huddersfield
I am an inorganic chemist interested in the synthesis of metal-metal multiply bonded species. One goal of our research is to generate functional mimics of the diiron active site in the enzyme methane monooxygenase (sMMO). This remarkable enzyme is capable of catalysing the conversion of methane to
methanol under ambient conditions. Given the extensive use of methanol as a fuel for fuel cells and as a chemical feedstock, there is significant interest in developing models that can mimic this process. We are using diiron, iron-ruthenium and diruthenium complexes that have bulky carboxylate or amidinate ligands to generate small-molecule mimics inspired by the active site of sMMO. Ruthenium has a close periodic relationship with iron, but has more stable higher oxidation states, which helps to prevent catalyst decomposition improving catalyst turnover. The use of nitrogen containing ligands, which are good electron donors, in diiron model systems will have a similar effect. We are investigating the application of these species as biologically inspired aerobic oxidation catalysts. The development of a robust and active catalyst for the partial oxidation of methane to methanol under relatively mild conditions would have significant industrial benefits, and help the UK meet the energy policy goals set out in the most recent energy policy white paper.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)