Intervention-free synthesis by phase-distinct multi-dimensional catalysis

Focus Area Definition

This area addresses the long-term goal of driving up process efficiency (maximum speed, minimum waste) by sequencing catalytic reactions with minimal human intervention (work-ups, separations, etc.). Inspiration can be taken from biosynthesis, where highly efficient and specific sequential reactions are programmed to deliver complex molecules: in these cases the synthetic efficiency is engendered by precise and predictive control of the operational timing of different catalytic reactions, couple with the inherent high selectivity of biocatalysts. Engineering such control in chemocatalysis systems will be fundamental to achieving this goal.

Challenges and Goals

The major challenges were defined as (click to read more about each individual challenge):

The challenges, current state-of-the-art, goals and pathways to achieving these goals are summarised in the roadmap below.

 

Which disciplines are needed – Opportunity for new research communities

  • Chemical (particularly reaction/reactor) engineers
  • Heterogeneous catalyst experts
  • Polymer and nanomaterial scientists (for responsive catalyst challenge)
  • Synthetic chemists
  • Computational chemists
  • Biocatalysis/biosynthesis (for mimicry of biological systems)
  • Membrane specialists (particularly those with expertise in selective membrane transport)