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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L019655/1
Title: Scale-up of solvent-free synthesis
Principal Investigator: James, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Andrews, Professor GP McNally, Professor T
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
MOF Technologies Ltd University of Limerick
Department: Sch of Chemistry and Chemical Eng
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 30 June 2014 Ends: 07 April 2018 Value (£): 450,811
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Physical Organic Chemistry
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Feb 2014 Engineering Prioritisation Meeting 26th February 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Solvents are traditionally assumed to be essential for most chemical reactions to proceed at an acceptable rate and in a controlled way. They are correspondingly ubiquitous in chemical processes, but simultaneously generate enormous amounts of waste, deplete fossil resources and require large amounts of energy to produce, purify and recycle. Finding cleaner and more sustainable ways of manufacturing chemicals and materials is a priority goal globally for the foreseeable future. Therefore, innovative thinking to come up with new types of processes which do not need solvents, and which can be scaled up to industrial production levels, is now critically important. 'Mechanochemistry' is a way of inducing chemical reactions simply by grinding solids together, and it is now attracting attention as an alternative general approach to traditional solvent-intensive methods. It has recently emerged that by using surprisingly simple, energy-efficient grinding apparatus such as ball mills, many reactions between solids can actually be performed, at least on small scales, often

within a few minutes and without any added solvent. However, a critical issue now is how to scale-up this mechanochemical synthesis to industrially-applicable levels. This project aims to provide a step-change in this area by enabling such chemistry to be done on larger scales so making it more applicable to industrial implementation. This project is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together experts in chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and pharmaceutical processing. The project is structured in order to: 1) gain greater knowledge and understanding of how such chemistry works and thus how to optimise it, and 2) explore how it can be used to provide new types of chemical reactions and chemistry and processes. A recently-formed university spin-out company will act a vehicle to maximise the commercial impact of this research.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk