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Alternative Solvents

Clean Synthesis

Biobased Mesoporous Materials

Microwave Chemistry


Research Projects



Research Group Members

Led by Professor James Clark (Director) and Dr Avtar Matharu (Deputy Director), the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) has a long established reputation for working closely with industry and fostering interdisciplinary research through close collaboration with chemical engineering and other disciplines.

The research areas of the GCCE cover a broad spectrum of subjects and involve both fundamental and applied research. We concentrate on developing new applications and providing practical solutions for existing industrial processes. This involves improvement of the processes both in terms of their environmental performance and efficiency through the application of catalysis, alternative solvents, and novel reactor technologies.

The Technology Platforms support the below research areas of the GCCE by providing key infrastructure.

The group works at the frontiers of green chemistry research in the following areas:

Clean Synthesis

Led by 
Dr Thomas Farmer

  • Developing cleaner manufacturing technologies and processes
  • Maximising effeciency and minimising waste in the production of a range of chemicals
  • Interests covering the use of solid catalysts and alternative solvents to “green” reactions

Alternative Solvents

Led by Dr James Sherwood

  • Focuses on the use of both natural and bio-derived solvents in applications including extraction and fractionation of waxes from waste biomass
  • Organic chemistry, product cleaning, material development, impregnation and utilisation of computer models to predict the effects of solvents in chemical reactions

Microwave Chemistry

Led by Dr Alice Fan

  • Using microwaves in the conversion of biomass (e.g. forestry and agricultural wastes, food waste, etc.) to useful products
  • Valuable products include liquid & solid fuels, and chemicals from sustainable sources of carbon
  • The Microwave Commercialisation Club (MCC) has been created to help support the transition of microwave technology from the laboratory in to industry. 

Bio-Based Mesoporous Materials (B2M2)

Led by Dr Vitaly Budarin

  • Conversion of bio-waste to high value materials applicable for green technologies.
  • Providing new technologies for bio-waste utilisation and developing future biorefinery systems.

CO2 and Catalysis

Led by Prof Michael North

  • Utilising waste biomass and carbon dioxide as alternative (and sustainable) carbon sources for the chemicals industry.
  • We combine these sustainable feedstocks with catalytic transformations using processes that require little or no energy input to develop sustainable alternatives for the production of important chemicals.