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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L023121/1
Title: Catalytic chemistry for methanol oxidation: a study into mechanism and utility
Principal Investigator: Donohoe, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AstraZeneca University of Texas at Austin
Department: Oxford Chemistry
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 May 2014 Ends: 30 April 2019 Value (£): 980,230
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Chemical Synthetic Methodology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Feb 2014 EPSRC Physical Sciences Chemistry - February 2014 Announced
11 Mar 2014 EPSRC Physical Sciences Fellowships Interview Panel 11th and 12th March 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Chemistry is a dynamic subject that is at the centre of many different scientific advances. Organic chemistry is concerned with the reactivity of carbon in all its different forms and can be viewed as the chemistry taking place within living things. Chemists are constantly looking for new ways of designing and building molecules (synthetic chemistry is molecular architecture) and this proposal describes a short and powerful new way of making valuable molecules using a new type of catalyst. The molecules at the heart of the proposal are compounds containing a carbon-oxygen double bond (a carbonyl group) which have special properties and are the building blocks of many known pharmaceutical agents.

The novel chemistry proposed here will provide a new, efficient and powerful way of making carbonyl compounds using catalysis to control all aspects of the structures of the products formed: this will be of great benefit to both academia and industry who will be able to make interesting molecules (some that were otherwise inaccessible) in new ways. Plans have also been made to screen the compounds that we make for a wide range of biological activity.

Given all of the above, it is imperative that we have novel, efficient and powerful methods for making new carbonyl containing compounds so that we can study and use them. In addition, the development and application of new catalysts and catalytic systems is also important because catalysis makes chemical reactions run faster, and become cleaner with less waste: this is clearly a good thing for industry and also for the environment.

The Fellowship aspect of this proposal is designed to allow the principal investigator the time to study and develop a new research direction. Plans have been made to interact and collaborate with other academics who can provide specialist knowlege and also with two project partners (one a multi-national pharmaceutical company and the other a leading academic in the United States of America) so that industrial problems and mechanistic details can be identified and addressed at all stages of the project. Three post-doctoral assistants will be employed to carry out the exprimental work, and the project will provide a thorough and comprehensive training in science and the attendant areas of communication/ presentation and creativity. This will equip them very well for the job market afterwards.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk