Nottingham researchers awarded funding to provide cleaner and greener chemicals – Finance-Base
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Nottingham researchers awarded funding to provide cleaner and greener chemicals

Researchers have been awarded funding to utilize a leader in the speciality chemicals industry to produce cleaner and greener chemical processing methods for everyday products in a bid to help the government meet its carbon neutral targets.

Speciality chemicals are utilized in a range of products that effect on people’s everyday lives including fuel additives for the automotive industry, personal care products, clothing and gel hand sanitisers.

If we continue using these products and meet the goals set through the Government to be Net Zero by 2050, then the way speciality chemicals are produced must be made more environmentally sustainable.

Research teams in the Universities of Nottingham and Warwick have been awarded funding from the EPSRC to satisfy this challenge with a ground-breaking new programme of research for Lubrizol.

Lubrizol products provide speciality chemicals for transportation, industrial and consumer markets and the company is taking steps to improve the carbon footprint linked to the manufacture of them.

In order to do that, Lubrizol is partnering up with the University of Nottingham and the University of Warwick to tackle a distinct series of business-led research challenges including designing Smarter Molecules, using Better Chemistries and Resilient Processes, that ultimately reduce the amount of chemicals, solvents and processing steps needed to manufacture complex molecules and polymers.

This is all possible thanks to a £4.8m Prosperity Partnership funded jointly by EPSRC and Lubrizol.

Prosperity Partnership researchers is going to be using the latest sustainable chemistry strategies to create a toolkit with the capacity to transform all aspects of additive synthesis from initial discovery through to chemical manufacturing of high-value molecules.

Professor Peter Licence in the University of Nottingham who will lead the programme said: “This project brings together world leading expertise at the Universities of Nottingham and Warwick in sustainable chemistry and polymer science to address key challenges identified by Lubrizol.

“This exciting 5-year programme recognises the traditional relationships between Lubrizol and our Universities and can help drive cleaner economic re-growth within the Midlands region. The new science that this partnership will create will enable smarter processes to reduce the carbon footprint of Lubrizol products in applications as diverse as electrified transportation, personal care products and performance sportswear.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Tapping in to the expertise of our finest chemists to get rid of carbon from products all of us use such as soaps and medicines, this ground-breaking collaboration led by Lubrizol and the University of Nottingham will make a real impact on eliminating our contribution to global warming and helping the UK achieve its net zero ambitions.”

Mark Davies, Senior Director Research & Development from Lubrizol, said: “We supply additives for not only the automotive industry, but industrial and consumer market products. Actually, with chemistry at the heart on most products it is estimated that over 96% of manufactured goods have chemical industry content, making the a major contributor to the UK economy along with a key facilitator of change through innovation.

“We therefore look forward to working with the Universities of Warwick and Nottingham to develop new sustainable ways to make our additives, which will ultimately lead us to lowering our environmental footprint. This can also help manufacturers we supply have some clarity in their supply chain of chemicals.”

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