Research

The group is divided into two main streams of catalysis: heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis. We strive to be at the forefront of research and development in the field of reactions catalysed in both a homogeneous and heterogeneous medium.

Heterogeneous Catalysis Group

The heterogeneous catalysis group focuses on the development and optimization of metal oxide based catalysts for the activation of medium-chain paraffins, namely hexane, octane and decane which are abundant and low value by-products in the Fischer-Tropsch process. This work is carried out in collaboration with SASOL, Johnson-Matthey and Cardiff University and has resulted in the understanding of the effect in activity and selectivity.

Homogeneous Catalysis Group

The homogeneous catalysis group mainly centres on the activation and functionalisation of saturated hydrocarbons using different types of complexes as the catalyst. Hydrocarbons form a large product stream of petroleum refining and are the major constituents of abundant natural gas. Most hydrocarbons are burnt as fuel sources for energy generation, but with the right catalysis can be converted into value-added products that serve as feedstock for the pharmaceutical, heavy and fine chemicals industry.