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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M013219/1
Title: Biocatalysis & Biotransformation: A 5th Theme for the National Catalysis Hub
Principal Investigator: Turner, Professor NJ
Other Investigators:
Greaney, Professor M Scrutton, Professor NS Davis, Professor B
Wirth, Professor T Allemann, Professor RK Mulholland, Professor AJ
Lye, Professor G
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2015 Ends: 31 March 2020 Value (£): 3,103,987
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Oct 2014 Programme Grant Interviews - 21 and 22 October 2014 (Physical Sciences) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The proposed research looks to establish biocatalysis & biotransformation research at the UK Catalysis Hub. A catalyst is something added in very small amounts to a reaction that will make it faster, and they play a very important role in modern chemistry and biology. Up to 90% of chemically produced materials have used a catalyst in their production - the enzymes in washing powder are a type of biological catalyst that helps break down organic stains on clothes, for example. The catalytic converter in a car contains precious metal catalysts that convert harmful nitrogen monoxide fumes into harmless nitrogen gas. Catalysis in general is integral to the discovery and manufacture of new materials that structure our society - e.g. medicines, agrochemicals, polymers, flavours and fragrances.

Catalysts can dramatically accelerate chemical reactions, to the extent where some impossibly slow processes become highly efficient when performed under catalytic conditions. The challenge is matching up the right catalyst with the right chemical reaction. Our research will concentrate on biological catalysis, looking at ways to integrate enzyme and whole cell biocatalysis into new manufacturing processes. It is possible, for example, to integrate metals and biocatalysts into single chemical reactions, such that the synthesis of new molecules would be dramatically accelerated. For this to be possible we need fundamental advances in our understanding of how enzymes work and how metal catalysts can be made to function under mild conditions. The Catalysis Hub offers a unique focal point to realise this research goal, which will drive the development of each arm of catalysis in new and unexpected ways. It brings scientists together from UK universities (and beyond) and industry to tackle major problems in catalysis. The networking of scientists from different disciplines and sectors will permit a cross-disciplinary approach to catalysis that will be essential if we are to drive biocatalysis research forward in its widest context.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk