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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D500958/1
Title: Discipline Hopping Award: Interfacing Novel Reactor Technologies with Molecular Discovery
Principal Investigator: Simmons, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Bath
Department: Chemical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 26 September 2005 Ends: 25 September 2007 Value (£): 47,594
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
Reactor Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
EP/D500966/1 EP/D000718/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Extensive testing of new catalyst formulations is a labour intensive process, which can be sped up using High Throughput Methodologies (HTM). To date, HTM has mostly been applied in industry and has shown promising results for testing of new catalysts, synthesis of organic chemical libraries and discovery of new drug formulations. HTM in chemistry has relied almost exclusively on parallel techniques using multiwell reactors. We intend to exploit a serial concept for HTM which has a number of distinct and intrinsic advantages over the parallel screening approach, including simplification of in-situ analysis to allow detailed kinetic monitoring and product analysis and greater flexibility in terms of temporal resolution, environmental control and reactor configurationA serial approach to HTM has not yet been generally applied to chemical synthesis. Serial approaches to drug discovery have been proposed using microreactors, however, the general use of larger (i.e., meso) reactors for serial HTM remains unexplored. Microreactors have many highly attractive features, particularly in the transferral of analytical technologies to chip-based formats, combinatorial chemistry and drug-screening. However, we believe that larger-scale mesoreactors have an important role to play in the rapid discovery and intelligent optimisation of catalysts and reagents. Crucially, mesoreactors will provide upward chemical compatibility with industrial flow reactors while also providing a new concept for laboratory-scale discovery, optimisation and synthesis.The objective of this research programme is the development of novel technologies to facilitate intelligent High Throughput Methodology (HTM) via a bespoke serial reactor complete with self-learning capabilities. Applications in the discovery and optimisation of catalytic chemical processes (including polymerisations), library synthesis (for drug discovery), and pharmacogenomics are envisaged. This proposal seeks funding for a discipline hopping award to develop a collaboration between Dr Chris Frost (Chemistry, University of Bath) and Dr Joe Wood and Dr Mark Simmons (Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham) to work towards a full EPSRC grant application in this area. This award will facilitate travel of Drs Wood and Simmons to the Department of Chemistry at Bath University. There, they will spend time studying homogeneous catalysis. and enantioselective chemistries. In reverse, Dr Frost will spend periods of study in the Department of Engineering at Birmingham University to study mixing in meso-scale reactors, and reactions in pilot scale catalytic reactors.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk