Johnson Matthey in Catalysis Project with BP, UK Universities

25.07.2021 - Sustainable technology company Johnson Matthey is participating in a five-year project with multinational energy giant BP and two UK universities to explore new catalyst technology to help the world achieve net zero.

Starting in October, the £9 million Sustainable Catalysis for Clean Growth project aims to convert CO2, waste and sustainable biomass into clean and sustainable fuels and products. It is one of eight business-led prosperity partnership programs supporting the UK government’s Innovation Strategy. Prosperity partnerships support existing, strategic, research-based partnerships between business and universities.

Cardiff University, regarded as an international leader in catalysis research, is heading the project, while the University of Manchester will provide expertise in materials science, characterization methods and catalysis.

Catalysts are an integral part of manufacturing processes that produce an estimated 80% of materials required in modern life, according to Johnson Matthey.

“The catalysts we use today have been honed over decades to work with specific, fossil fuel resources” said Duncan Wass, director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, which is part of Cardiff University. “As we move to a low carbon, more sustainable, net zero future, we need catalysts that will convert biomass, waste and carbon dioxide into valuable products such as fuels and lubricants. Working in this partnership, we will bring together a wide range of catalysis expertise to uncover new science and contribute towards achieving net zero - perhaps the most pressing objective for us all.”

Martin Schröder, vice-president and dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester University added that “net zero is too big a problem for a single institution to tackle on its own and it is critical that industry and academia work together to solve this challenge.”

The project has been co-funded with £2.68 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, and £5.65 million from the companies and University partners.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist