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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T031603/1
Title: Cages for Chemical Separations
Principal Investigator: Nitschke, Professor JR
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2020 Ends: 30 September 2024 Value (£): 815,718
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Co-ordination Chemistry
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals R&D
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Apr 2020 EPSRC Physical Sciences - April 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Fine chemicals are used as building blocks for many of the products that we rely upon, from pharmaceuticals to plastics. These molecules are isolated from mixtures that are often derived from petroleum. This isolation process can be challenging, generally involving distillation, a process which requires substantial energy input. A key aim of this project is to develop a new and more energy-efficient separation technology involving metal-organic cages. These cages are known to encapsulate various small organic compounds based on size and shape. The current project will develop new means of programming the behaviour of these cages, so that they will pick up and release these 'guest' molecules in response to the stimuli of light and heat. These cages will then be built into systems that enable cages to pick up high-value molecules from feedstocks, such as petroleum. The cages and cargoes will be pumped into a space where their molecular cargo is released in pure form, allowing the cages to be recycled in a closed-loop purification process. We anticipate that this process will allow the separation of valuable molecules with higher energy efficiency and lower cost than current methods.
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk