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York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence

Leaders in the research, promotion, development and implementation of green and sustainable solutions, the York Green Chemistry Centre offers a proven track record and established reputation in successful industrial R&D.

Leading research

The Green Chemistry Centre combines the experience of academics and support staff whose activities are founded on an excellent range of analytical instrumentation and modern reactor technologies. The interest areas of the green chemistry group cover a broad spectrum of subjects and involve both fundamental and applied research. 

The Centre’s particular areas of research excellence can be broadly grouped into the following four main areas:

  • Natural Solvents - providing environmentally sustainable and economically attractive alternatives to conventional organic solvents in a wide range of applications including the extraction of valuable waxes.

  • Microwave Chemistry - selective activation of components of biomass and production of a range of valuable products, including liquid and solid fuels, and sugars.
  • Clean Synthesis and Platform Molecules – Development of cleaner manufacturing technologies including novel heterogeneous catalytic processes, making the production of a range of chemicals possible in a manner which maximises efficiency and minimises waste.
  • Renewable Materials – development of a range of materials which take full advantage of the chemical composition, rich functionality and structure in plant metabolites and other biomass.

Expertise for industry

The Centre works closely with industry to deliver competitive tailor-made solutions that are more profitable, less wasteful, less damaging to the environment and more socially acceptable. Customers come from many sectors and range from small manufacturing enterprises through to large corporations at local to international level. 

Services include consultancy and contract research focusing on process efficiencies and environmental performance improvement. Through its extensive network of contacts, the Centre also has experience of enabling and organising supply chain consortia.

Global networking

The Green Chemistry Centre is the hub for a number of important networks that bring together academics, industrialists and other interested individuals and groups from around the world.

  • MUSC (Manufacturing Using Sustainable Chemistry) is a new joint venture between the UK’s largest chemical industry trade association (CIA) and the Centre with the goal of creating new supply chain partnerships for the production of green and sustainable products.

  • NORSC (Northern Sustainable Chemistry) is a new network formed by green chemistry academia from the top universities in the North of England. The combined skills and resources of the network will be bought together to help promote green and sustainable chemistry solutions for industry
  • The Anglo-French collaboration on chemicals from biomass brings together the complementary experience of the researchers at the Centre and within the Green Chemistry Network with the white biotechnology and development experts in the industry and Agro-Resources cluster in France.
  • Biowaste Industrial Symbiosis (BIS) - A new international network aiming to exploit the emerging potential for research and development of valorisation of food supply chain waste.
  • Green Chemistry Centre - Korean Collaborations - cooperative activities between York and the Korean Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) and the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH).


The Centre offers a Masters Course in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology – Europe's first course in the field run in collaboration with the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The Centre's Continuing Professional Development programme comprises contact-based master classes and e-learning short courses aimed at both technical and non-technical audiences in academia, industry, government and NGOs.

The Chemistry department offers a large lecture theatre for up to 177 delegates, as well as a number of functional break out spaces

Find out more

The York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence website provides additional information about:

  • the centre's research areas
  • members of staff
  • publications
  • facilities