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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T03114X/1
Title: Ionic-Liquid Mixtures: from Surface Structure to Catalytic Performance
Principal Investigator: McKendrick, Professor KG
Other Investigators:
Costen, Professor ML
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr PD Lane
Project Partners:
Friedrich-Alexander Univ of Erlangen FAU Montana State University Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
UK Catalysis Hub
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2020 Ends: 28 February 2025 Value (£): 680,204
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Apr 2020 EPSRC Physical Sciences - April 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Ionic liquids (ILs), with their unique combination of properties and wealth of potential applications, have captured the imagination of a large community of scientists in recent years. Fundamental studies on ILs have led to breakthroughs in our understanding and have enabled the development of ILs that are promising candidates for use in areas such as catalysis, carbon-capture and storage (CCS), biomass processing, as electrolytes in batteries, supercapacitors and dye-sensitised solar cells and more.

This project aims to develop and utilise a wide range of experimental and computational methodologies to investigate the surface, and bulk, structure of IL mixtures that are currently poorly understood and consequently underutilised. We previously developed a novel technique that can probe liquid interfaces with direct chemical specificity, Reactive-Atom Scattering - Laser-Induced Fluorescence (RAS-LIF), and used it to detect H (or D)-containing functional groups at IL interfaces. We will extend its applicability to new chemical functionalities, in particular fluorinated species, by using high-energy Al-atoms as reactive probes of fluorinated functionality (on both cations and anions) at IL surfaces. This will be complemented by new capabilities for studying liquid surfaces by X-ray and neutron reflectivity under catalytically relevant conditions, and by bulk structure/property studies. The detailed understanding developed will lead to structure-property relationships in IL mixture systems that will be used in the final stages of the project in supported IL phase (SILP) catalysis and will support the deployment of new and bespoke functional ILs for catalysis in SILP systems. This ambitious project aims to cover the whole pipeline of IL development from preparation, to structural understanding, and then to industrially relevant applications.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk