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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R005540/1
Title: Porous Liquids (PLs): Understanding, scope and applications
Principal Investigator: James, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Rooney, Professor D Kohanoff, Professor J Jacquemin, Dr JGP
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry and Chemical Eng
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2018 Ends: 31 July 2021 Value (£): 456,458
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Co-ordination Chemistry
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Jun 2017 EPSRC Physical Sciences – June 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The invention of new materials with useful properties is essential to meet global challenges, such as generating energy cleanly and using it efficiently. The invention of Porous Liquids (PLs), recently reported jointly by the investigators in this project [Nature 2015, 527, 216], is an important advance with broad implications for future technologies. PLs are liquids which have permanent holes (micropores) within them, and as such are hybrids of two well-known and widely-used classes of material, specifically microporous solids and liquid solvents. Each of these classes of material provide the basis for many current industries globally. PLs bring together the ability to selectively absorb large amounts of gas (as with microporous solids) with the ability to flow (as with liquids). With development, they are expected to become the basis of a range of new technologies in the coming years.

The vision of this proposal is that through greater basic understanding and application-driven development, PLs will ultimately provide the basis for new technologies in the areas of clean energy, chemical separations and as 'super solvents' - advances that would not be possible with porous solids or conventional liquid solvents alone.

This project has been designed as a critical step toward reaching this goal. Initially, we will obtain better basic understanding of these material by studying how they absorb, transport and release various industrially important gases, under a range of conditions. We will also synthesise new types of PLs with a range of different compositions and structures to understand better the full scope of this new class of materials, and how the structure and composition may ultimately be used to design the materials for a specific application. Computational modelling will be used to provide accurate molecular-scale models of these PLs which will help in understanding their observed properties. Based upon these findings we will begin to explore possible future applications for PLs, such as in more energy-efficient industrial gas separation processes, safer chemical processes and more efficient battery technology. Overall the project will be a key step in realizing technical and commercial benefits to the UK from the invention of this new class of materials. The project is multidisciplinary, involving experts in materials synthesis, computational modelling and chemical engineering and will provide a first rate training for three early-career scientists in this exciting new field.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk