Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies

Energy and water

Setting sun reflecting and refracting through a waveSustainable clean energy and water management are among the most urgent global challenges, and pose fundamental scientific and engineering questions. We will address key research challenges that span the chemistry/chemical engineering interface, including: sustainable solar cells; energy storage and batteries; sustainable water supply; and water cycle and human health.

Theme leaders: Professor Steve Parker, Department of Chemistry; Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Department of Chemistry

Industrial partners: Johnson Matthey; Wessex Water

Research areas & leaders

Sustainable solar cells

Chemistry: Dr Petra Cameron, Professor Mike Hill, Professor Frank Marken

Energy storage & batteries

Chemical Engineering: Dr Davide Mattia, Professor Tim Mays
Chemistry: Dr Karen Edler, Professor Saiful Islam, Professor Steve Parker, Professor Mark Weller

Sustainable water supply

Biology & Biochemistry: Professor David Leak, Professor Rod Scott
Chemical Engineering: Dr Tom Arnot, Dr Mirella di Lorenzo, Dr Davide Mattia, Dr Jannis Wenk, Professor Jan Hofman
Chemistry: Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern
Mechanical Engineering: Dr Marcelle McManus

Water cycle & human health

Chemistry: Professor Chris Frost, Dr Toby Jenkins, Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Professor Frank Marken
Electrical & Electronic Engineering: Dr Pedro Estrela

Major projects & grants

Photocatalytic Anodic Metal Membranes for Micropollutant Removal

This project addresses the twin challenges that have so-far hindered the use of photocatalysis in water treatment: the potential leaching of photocatalytic slurries in the environment and the low efficiency of UV light illumination, which translates in low activity, for immobilised photocatalysts.

ReNEW - Developing Resilient Nations - Towards a Public Heath Early Warning System via Urban Water Profiling

renew-logoAn innovative solution to current problems with rapidly identifying and responding to deteriorating public health and environmental conditions in fast developing urban environments in LMIC countries, aiming to manage risks to public and environmental health relating to urbanisation, population growth, lack of infrastructure and the overarching challenge of climate change. We will establish a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research capability, based on engineering and digital technology approaches, for real-time community-wide diagnostics and tuneable multi-hazard public health early warning system (EWS) with the ultimate goal of strengthening communities’ resilience. 

Energy Materials: Computational Solutions

Our vision is to develop and apply predictive techniques for modelling the atomic level operation of energy materials. We will enable the development of new materials for the next generations of energy devices, causing a step change in the performance of solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, solid oxide fuel cells and thermoelectric devices.

H2FCSupergen — The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Hub

H2FC Supergen logoH2FC (Hydrogen and Fuel Cells) is the first connected, inclusive research infrastructure in the UK that will span the entire Hydrogen and Fuel Cell landscape. Although the initiative is UK-based we have strong international links. We utlise networks, knowledge exchange and stakeholder (including outreach) engagement, community building, and education, training and continuous professional development.

SEWPROF ITN — A new paradigm in drug use and human health risk assessment: Sewage profiling at the community level

SEWPROF ITN logoSEWPROF aims to develop inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral research capability for the next generation of scientists working in the newly-emerging field of sewage epidemiology. It will provide an integrated approach towards public health monitoring at a community level based on innovative sewage epidemiology techniques.

SPECIFIC — Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings

Specific project logoSPECIFIC, an academic and industrial consortium led by Swansea University with Tata Steel as the main industrial partner, is funded by EPSRC, Technology Strategy Board and the Welsh Government. The shared vision is to develop functional coated steel and glass products for roofs and walls that generate, store and release renewable energy - transforming buildings into power stations and delivering significant environmental and economic benefits.

SUPERGEN Energy Storage Hub

Energy storage is more important today than at any time in human history. It has a vital role to play in storing electricity from renewable sources (wind, wave, solar) and is key to the electrification of transport. However, current energy storage technologies are not fit for purpose. This consortium brings together investigators with strong international and national reputations in energy storage research and spanning the entire value chain from the energy storage technologies themselves, through manufacturing, integration, and evaluation of the whole system in which the energy storage would be embedded.

SUPERSOLAR Solar Energy Hub

The Supergen Solar Hub is an exciting 5 year project that will see the creation of the UK's first standards lab for solar cells, a research programme that aims to improve the efficiency of next generation photovoltaic devices. We also intend to set up a training programme for the Photovoltaic research sector and the formation of an inclusive solar community that links research carried out in universities and industry.

Student projects

Student name Title Supervisors Partners
Ahmet, Ibrahim (2011–2015) Precursor and Process Development into Thin Film Metal Chalcogenide Materials Jonson, Hill, Bending, Peters Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC)
Atri, Ria (2016–2020) Novel materials for on-vehicle hydrogen electrolysers Eslava, Edler, Marken, Bannister Advanced Fuel Technologies
Baker, Robert (2016–2020) Controllable Synthesis of Perovskite Quantum Dots Using Flow Chemistry Cameron, Torrente (Cambridge), Marken, Walker Monash University; CSIRO
Bradley, Stephen (2012–2016)  Microbial fuel cells as online and on site sensors for water quality Di Lorenzo, Kasprzyk-Hordern, Marken, Dennis (Wessex Water) University of Sao Paolo, Wessex Water
Boswell, Jacob (2016–2020)  Mesoporous metals for inductively heated catalysis Squires, Hill  
Bristow, Jessica (2012–2016)  Chemical bonding in metal-organic frameworks: from fundamentals to design principles Walsh, Ting, Gale (Curtin University) Accelrys
Burton, Lee (2010–2014) Phase stability and composition for tin sulfide sensitised solar cells Walsh, Molloy, Bowen IMRA-Europe
Charles, Bethan (2015–2019) Structure, spectroscopy and photoelectrochemistry of photovoltaic materials Weller, Wolverson, Peter SPECIFIC
Chouler, Jon (2013–2017) Development of a self-sustainable and cost-effective tool for water quality monitoring in developing countries Di Lorenzo, Cameron, Kasprzyk-Hordern Wessex Water, Wellboring
Davies, Daniel (2014–2018) Interface engineering for indium-free transparent electronics Walsh, Allsopp, Morgan Yonsei University
Doan, Huan (2014–2018) Synthesis, characterization and applications of novel hierarchical porous materials Ting, Sartbaeva Johnson Matthey, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Ferdani, Dominic (2014–2018) Engineering Perovskites for 3rd Generation Solar Cells Cameron, Lewis, Walker  
Hayward, Emily (2011–2015) Investigating fouling and cleaning during the filtration of gum Arabic to save water and reduce energy Bird, Wilson, Patterson Kerry Ingredients; RWTH Aachen University
Hill, Alf (2010–2014) Urea as a renewable feedstock for PEM fuel cells Torrente, Marken, Iravani RWTH Aachen
Hodges, Ben (2010–2014) Tailored donor acceptor carbon nanohybrids as new approaches to photovoltaic applications Pascu, Cameron, Raithby, Mattia SAFC
Holyfield, Leighton (2013–2017) Design of Safe Hybrid Hydrogen Storage Tanks Mays, Burrows EPL Composite Solutions Ltd
Jackson, Adam (2011–2015)  Thermodynamics for practical kesterite photovoltaics Walsh, Peter SPECIFIC
Lopez, Carlos (2015–2019) Rapid on-site colourimetric determination of drinking water safety in the developing world Lewis, James, Wenk  
Miles, David (2011–2015) Anodized ZnO nanostructures for next-generation photovoltaics Mattia, Cameron SPECIFIC
Ng, Mako (2012–2016) Solution-processed solar cells from earth-abundant elements Weller, Walsh, Shields SPECIFIC
Ohene-Yeboah, Leyorla (2015–2019) Pollutant speciation and remediation in the environment using atomistic simulations Parker, Wenk, Kasprzyk-Hordern Chinese Academy of Sciences
Pockett, Adam (2011–2015) Characterisation of perovskite solar cells Cameron, Walker SPECIFIC
Poli, Isabella (2015–2019) Exploiting perovskites for the generation of solar fuels Cameron, Eslava SPECIFIC
Raikova, Sonia (2014–2018) Developing a marine biorefinery for the production of fuels and fertilizer from the hydrothermal liquefaction of macroalgae Chuck, McManus Airbus Group
Ramirez Canon, Anyela (2010–2014) ZnO photocatalytic membranes for water treatment Mattia, Cameron, Arnot, Torrente Wessex Water
Rushworth, Andrew (2012–2016) The development of new graphene-based materials Raithby, Bending, Johnson Johnson Matthey
Sackville, Emma (2013–2017)  Molecularly Defined Electro-Catalysts for Energy Conversion and Biomass Valorisation Hintermair, Marken Johnson Matthey
Sharpe, Jessica (2010–2014) Hydrogen storage in novel nanoporous materials for sustainable energy applications in the aerospace industry Mays, Burrows Airbus Group
Sims, Natalie (2016–2020)  Medicinal products in the environment: novel strategies reducing environmental exposure Kasprzyk-Hordern, Arnot Wessex Water
Singer Hobbs, Maya (2015–2019) New Catalysts for Dioxygen Activation Hintermair, Plucinski, Edler Monash University
Sullivan, Hannah (2015–2019) Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Materials: Enhancing Efficiencies of GaN LEDs Johnson, Allsopp PragmatIC
Surman, Matthew (2016–2020)  Metal Oxide Photoelectrode Materials for Water Splitting Hill, Eslava, Johnson Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Taylor, Caitlin (2015–2019) Double energised ZnO nanowires for the degradation of trace contaminants in waste water Wenk, Mattia, Kasprzyk-Hordern Wessex Water
Taylor, Emily (2016–2020)  Chalcogenide thin film materials for next generation energy applications Johnson, Hill, Wolverson Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Thompson, Joseph (2012–2016) New Precursors for Application in Thin film Chalcogenide Materials Johnson, Wolverson SPECIFIC
Wagner, Jon (2012–2016)  Novel materials for catalytic conversion of bio-oils Ting, Weller, Chuck Wessex Water; Airbus Group
Wallace, Suzanne (2014–2018) Overcoming the efficiency bottleneck of metal sulfide solar cells Walsh, Bowen, Weller Duke University, SPECIFIC
Weber, Oliver (2013–2017) Optimising Energy Harvesting Processes in Metal Halide Photovoltaics Weller, Bowen, Walsh, Cameron SPECIFIC
Wood, Stephen (2011–2015) Computer Modelling of new Cathode Materials for Sodium-Ion Batteries Islam, Mays Sharp Laboratories of Europe
Wrigley, Liam (2016–2020)  Next generation photoelectrodes modified with co-catalysts for solar water splitting Eslava, Marken  
Zoumpouli, Garyfalia (2016–2020)  Low-cost ozonation of waste water with optimised biofiltration and alternative gas-transfer methods Wenk, Kasprzyk-Hordern and John Chew