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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/N08445/01
Principal Investigator: Macaskie, Professor LE
Other Investigators:
Rowson, Professor N Farr, Dr P Harris, Professor IR
Farr, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Degussa EA Technology
Department: Sch of Biosciences
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 February 2000 Ends: 31 December 2002 Value (£): 252,083
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Waste Minimisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Biomass (biofilm) of Desulfovibrio reduces Pd' to Pd' using atomic hydrogen (H') provided electrochemically from the back-side of a Pd alloy H' transfer membrane, in an integrated electrobioreactor, developed in a just-finished WMR project (patent application in progress). Pd' was recovered effectively and cleanly from processing waste (Degussa) and automotive catalyst leachates. Biocrystals' of Pd were half the size of chemically-prepared Pd* counterparts and were more effective as a chemical catalyst: clean technology for both Pd recovery and Sine chemical manufacture. Metal deposition utilises organic matrix of exocellular polymeric materials (EPM) as template and nucleation sites. EPM structure / array varies according to ill-defined metabolic switches % a given population of Desulfovibrio displays 4 types of Pd array, presumably attributable to intra-population template matrix variation. We will separate the four types by a) flow cytometry/cell sorting; b) magnetic separation of Pd-loaded cells, identify which type produces the best Pd' crystals for chemical catalysis and assign this to the chemical structure / array of the EPM matrix. Steerage' will be attempted to enrich for producers of the best Pd-matrix array. The harvested biocrystals (cell-bound, and falling from the immobilised biofilm under gravity) will be evaluated as chemical catalyst using industrial criteria by M. Winterbottom, who routinely does this under industrial contract. To maximise the yield various formulations of H-transfer membranes will be evaluated / fabricated for the best surface area (eg. fenustrated surfaces) for biomass adhesion according to (patenting) methodology. Hence, the main objective is to produce a better Pd catalyst using clean synthesis from waste in a single biocatalytic step, and the main deliverable will be the evaluation of the novel material against Pd catalysts prepared according to current chemical manufacturing processes
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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk