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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I011870/2
Title: Coordination Chemistry for Energy and Our Sustainable Futures (ChemEnSus)
Principal Investigator: Schroder, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Thomas, Professor KM David, Professor B Besley, Professor E
Beton, Professor P Champness, Professor NR Yang, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 01 September 2015 Ends: 31 December 2016 Value (£): 1,229,895
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Structure Co-ordination Chemistry
Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This high-impact, challenging proposal brings together innovative ideas in coordination chemistry within a single inter and multidisciplinary project to open up new horizons across molecular, nanoscale and materials science. Our VISION is to apply coordination chemistry to the design and preparation of new multi-functional porous materials to deliver fundamental scientific and technological advances, and provide innovative solutions to one of the key issues of the 21st Century, that of clean, renewable energy. This will be achieved by creating paradigm shifts in the control of chemical hierarchy and interactions within the confined and multi-functionalized space generated by designed porous metal-organic framework (MOF) materials. Our STRATEGY is thus to develop a world-leading, overarching and fundamental research program with critical mass across complementary areas of physical sciences and engineering through the expertise and collaboration of six research groups. We target inter-related studies on i. porosity in the solid state in self-assembled hybrid materials for gas and volatile organic compound (voc) storage, sequestration and reactivity; ii. porosity in membranes for gas separations and purification for fuel cell applications; and iii. porosity at surfaces for sensing devices and applications. After 5 years we will deliver high capacity hydrogen storage materials that function at ambient temperatures. This will overcome a current major technological barrier unlocking the potential of hydrogen as a viable, clean replacement for fossil fuels and enabling the Hydrogen Economy to become a reality. The impact and significance of such ground-breaking advances will be huge. Our need and reliance upon fossil fuels for transport would be slashed and a new clean energy vector based on the hydrogen fuel cell with zero carbon emissions at the point of use would be achieved. However, fuel cells are notoriously sensitive to gas purity, and thus, in order to realise our overall ambition, we must also understand how hydrogen and other contaminant/competitor substrates, such as other gases, water and vocs from biomass and water electrolysis, interact, bind and are sensed within hybrid materials. Thus, issues of removal, purification, transport and sensing of hydrogen and its contaminants represent fundamental scientific and technological challenges that go hand-in-hand with the huge challenge of hydrogen storage. Programme Grant funding will support the scientific, intellectual and technological inter-dependence of the cross-disciplinary research strands of synthesis, characterisation, storage, purification and sensing. It will support the necessary coordinated and interactive effort to undertake fundamental studies and analysis of how assembled porosity behaves and how it can be controlled at different regime levels, at the micro-, meso- and macro- levels. Four inter-linked research THEMES are identified within the programme: 1. Core fundamental science: synthesis, assembly, modelling and characterisation; 2. Properties and function: gas and voc uptake, selectivity and reactivity; 3 Gas sieving, fuel cell membranes, theory, analysis and multi-scale modelling; 4. Surface templating and sensing devices.The programme of work demands the managerial and financial flexibility and freedom that consolidated funding brings in order to deliver transformative and disruptive research. The training of 10 PDRA- and 15 PhD-level scientists for future employment in the UK will be delivered in an exciting, stimulating and curiosity-driven environment. This will be interlinked to appropriate and extensive knowledge transfer and outreach activities to maximise the impact of research outputs. The application is underpinned by significant funding of 24.2M in current research income held by the PI and CIs, and by 4.57M of matched funding reflecting the unequivocal support of the host institutions for this proposal.
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk