My research interests are driven by developing more efficient and environmental benign chemical process and better functional materials for industrial applications and human life.
For many years, my work is mainly on novel but cleaner and more effective catalysts for energy like fuel/chemical production and environmental purifications. The catalysts are mostly based on supported transition metals, oxides, carbides, nitrides or sulphides or noble metal catalysts with high surface area and desirable structure and size, which can be made through our platform technology, e.g, organic metal matrix (OMX) method for catalyst design and preparation. The resultant catalysts showed super performance various catalytic processes.. When exposed under microwave irradiation, our catalyst can selectively break C-C bonds or C-H bonds so as to make hydrogen from plastics waste or make monomers from the polymer waste.
With many years research and expertise in catalysis and chemical and energy industry, we would like further to develop catalysts for circular economy in polymer and sustainable fuel sectors, producing SAF or bio-degradable plastics from CO2, so as to promote the zero-emission economy.
A variety of advanced physical techniques are used in our research to study and understand the correlations between catalyst structure, functions and performance, so as to design and develop better catalysts from micro to macro scale. These techniques in our lab include synthetic chemistry, catalyst test rigs; and characterisation tools such as X-ray diffraction, solid state NMR, Laser Raman, BET surface area, FTIR and electron-microscope.
Catalysts for CO2 to SAF or Zero Carbon Fine Chemical
We have designed and prepared iron based catalyst system using our organic metal-matrix (OMX) method and can catalyse CO2 and H2 to sustainable aviation fuel or linear alpha olefins in one step with high activity, stability and selectivity. This is a breakthrough technology enabling carbon capture and utilization to be more technical-economical feasible, and promoting the carbon neutral aviation industry.
Microwave assisted catalysis for circular economy
We have developed novel catalysts and corresponding process for microwave assisted catalysis, which can selective break C-H or C-C bond in hydrocarbons, including natural gas, liquid hydrocarbon, wax and polymers such as polyethylene, polypropylene and even tyres. Polymers like PE, PP and PS have many applications that make our lives productive, healthy, and safe. However, the increasingly consumption of the polymers has its consequences, especially in a “take-make-dispose” linear economic system. With this microwave assisted catalysis, the used polymers can be safely and cleanly disposed and even can be converted into monomers, which enable a circular economy, leading to sustainable development
Associated Research Themes:
Clean energy process
We have developed various catalysts and materials which have been adopted or showed super performance in industrial applications;
• Iron based catalyst for CO2 to SAF or sustainable fine chemicals with green hydrogen, which has attracted more than 200 worldwide media coverage including Washington Post, Daily Mail, Wired, Forbes and CEN news et.al;
• New catalysts and reactor for plastics wastes to hydrogen or monomers;
• Catalyst for hydrogen production or superheated steam production from methanol and dilute peroxides solution;
• Novel technology and catalyst for pyrolysis oil upgrading and refine, based on which Oxford Sustainable Fuels was formed.
• Our cobalt based Fischer-Tropsch catalysts have been validated by several international companies;
• Oil refinery catalysts for hydrogenation, hydrocracking, and hydrogen generation and isomerizaiton.