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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R36565/01
Title: Continous flow homogeneous catalysis in supercritical fluid - ionic liquid biphasic systems.
Principal Investigator: Cole-Hamilton, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Sasol Technology
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of St Andrews
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 16 April 2001 Ends: 15 April 2004 Value (£): 241,199
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The major problem impeding the commercialisation of homogeneous catalysts, which can be very active, selective and stable, is the separation of the products from the catalyst and the solvent., especially if the product is of relatively low volatility. We wish to develop our recent discovery that such reactions can be carried out in continuous flow mode with the substrates being transported into the reactor dissolved in scC02 and the products being removed from the reactor, also in scC02. In the reactor, an ionic catalyst is dissolved in an ionic liquid, which has no vapour pressure and is insoluble in ScC02. Being ionic, the catalyst is also insoluble in the scC02. However, scC02 is soluble in the ionic liquid and helps transport the substrates, particularly the gases into the ionic liquid. We wish to explore a number of reactions including hydroformylation of long chain alkenes, hydrocarboxylation reactions, asymmetric synthesis, C-C bond forming reactions, transesterification and polymer modification. The project involves reactor modification, catalyst and ionic liquid design and testing. We also propose to investigate scale-up. The target is a series of commercially important reactions, which can be carried out continuously, with all the catalyst in the active part of the reactor all the time and built in product separation. The processes will be extremely evironmentatly benign because they do not use VOC's and all the components other than the products can be recycled
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Organisation Website: http://www.st-and.ac.uk