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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C530861/1
Title: New non-palladium catalysts for the co-polymerisation of ethene and carbon monoxide
Principal Investigator: Wass, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: First Grant Scheme Pre-FEC
Starts: 01 July 2005 Ends: 30 June 2007 Value (£): 125,116
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Polyketone is a polymer (plastic) material that can be used in a variety of applications, from fuel tanks to packaging. The potential commercial value of the material arises because it demonstrates very advantageous properties, such as toughness and rigidity, usually only associated with expensive polymers. However, polyketone is made from two very basic chemicals, namely ethene and carbon monoxide, and therefore has the potential to be much cheaper. To make polyketone, a catalyst is needed to speed up and control the chemical reaction of ethene and carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, current polyketone catalysts based on palladium compounds do not speed up this reaction enough, which leads to problems in commercial-scale manufacture and industrial interest in polyketone has therefore waned. If a catalyst were found that speeded up the reaction much more than existing systems, this area of chemistry would be re-invigorated.The current proposal is concerned with the discovery and study of such new catalysts. The closely related field of polyethene catalysts has witnessed major advances in the use of catalysts based on a wide variety of metals in recent years and it is proposed to use the lessons of this related area as a starting point. In particular, catalysts based on metals from the first row of the periodic table will be targeted since these are cheaper and, for polyethene, often more active than their second or third row counterparts. A key factor in designing effective catalysts is the structure of the other chemical fragments ( ligands ) attached to the metal. Particular attention is given to this topic and several starting points based on rational ligand design have been identified. The risks associated with a project having a primary aim of new catalyst discovery are mitigated by both the range of catalyst targets proposed and complementary studies of a more fundamental nature. An ultimate aim of the project is to understand the relationship between catalyst structure and catalyst performance.In summary, this is an adventurous proof-of-concept project, dealing with a topic which is timely and of both scientific and potential commercial relevance.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk