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Catalytic Activation of Renewable Resources to make Polymers and Fuels

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This lecture will provide an overview of research in the Williams group into new catalyst development both for synthesis of polymers and for fuels, such as methanol.[1] The lecture will describe the preparation and development of homogeneous catalysts for the polymerization of carbon dioxide and epoxides.[2] In particular, it will emphasise the importance of polymerization kinetics and structure-activity studies in developing the chain shuttling mechanistic hypothesis. This mechanism has been used to guide the preparation of mixed metal, heterodinuclear, catalysts which show synergic relationships and some high activities and selectivity values.[3] The lecture will highlight the development and industrial application of polycarbonates and polyols prepared from carbon dioxide. In the second part, research into new nanoparticle catalysts comprising ZnO and Cu for the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to methanol will be described.[4] It will describe the potential to exploit organometallic reagents and intermediates to prepare ultra-small colloidal nanoparticles, as well as new well-defined metal-hydroxyl clusters and 2-D layered materials.

This talk is part of the Chemistry Departmental-wide lectures series.

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