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CPACT related research interests

Product and Process Innovation

The thrust in this research theme is to link models at an atomic or molecular level with properties of finished products and the influence of the processing steps.

When successful, this will allow formulators to devise new products, and a route to make them which will work "first time" and "every time", on the equipment that is realistically available.

Current projects include: phase development, processing steps and process design strategy.

Process Integration, Modelling, Design and Control

This research theme addresses a wide range of critical issues for designing and operating chemical plant. Particular research topics address significant issues for a wide range of industries, including chemical and petrochemical, food and pharmaceutical, mineral processing and environmental sectors.

Applications of include the development of design methodologies focussed on efficient use of raw materials for chemical reactors, energy efficiency for absorption and distillation systems, water and wastewater minimisation and emissions reduction.

All these objectives emphasise the efficient use of capital throughout.

Measurement Science and Instrumentation

Our fundamental research includes studies that are concerned with spectroscopic or mass spectrometric responses to, for example, molecular processes in proteins, surface reactions, to cellular processes, to variations in materials properties.

This involves research into the dependence of the spectral response on instrument configuration and sample preparation.

Some of this research starts from an interest in the science behind the measurement technique, for example, millimetre wavelength spectrometry, vibrational spectroscopy, positron emission tomography (PET), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).

Other research is focussed on finding and researching the performance of the most appropriate analytical tool for the materials, environmental or chemical processes to be monitored and measured.

For example non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of material properties, such as composites, fluids and bio-tissue; finding new methods for cancer diagnosis or investigating atmospheric dispersion of releases from industrial installations in both normal and accidental conditions.

There is also a substantial research effort in the miniaturisation of analytical instrumentation and chemical reactors.

Multi-scale Theory and Computation.

Multi-scale theory and computation is a methodology for using the knowledge of the properties of a system at a molecular level to predict how it will behave at other scales; either at the mesoscopic (e.g. grains, bubbles and polymers) level, or even at the macroscopic (e.g. vessels filled with particles, foams or complex fluids) level.

Such multi-scale studies are very important; they allow us to develop completely new materials, products and processes because we can think more creatively about how things work together at the smallest possible level.

Bio-chemical Engineering and Bio-analytical Science

This theme represents research in quantitative biological science and engineering encompassing bio-catalysis, biotechnology, bio-medical diagnostics and quantitative and systems biology.

The School is host to the Pro-Bio Faraday partnership which is focussed on accelerating implementation of bio-catalytic manufacturing processes.

This area of research has now been strengthened to include molecular enzymology and enzyme catalysis.

Biomedical research includes the development of diagnostic procedures using near infra-red spectrometry and positron emission tomography, the latter through links with the Paterson Institute and Christie Hospital.

Bio-chemical engineering embraces research in bio-polymers, self assembly mechanisms for nano-structures and also the manipulation and separation of cells, particles and biopolymers by dielectric effects and optical tweezers.

Quantitative and analytical work is focussed on processes and phenomena in molecular biology and ranges from the development of new instrumentation to study phenomena at the systems level eg. olfaction, to the development of methods to study molecular mechanisms of post transcriptional control.

Members of the Theme have strong links with the Manchester Interdisciplinary Bio-Centre (MIB) a new £35 million research institute where several of our inter-disciplinary scientists and engineers will work on these subjects.

A major area of growth in the MIB and the School will be in systems biology and nano-bioscience, both areas that require the quantitative and mathematical approaches of chemical engineers and analytical scientists working with molecular biologists.

The Environment and Sustainable Technology

This theme addresses the environmental impact of chemical processes and products along with the development of clean and sustainable process technologies.

Research aims to maintain and improve quality of life whilst protecting both local and global environments.

This involves a diverse range of technologies applied to common goals rather than a single scientific discipline with multiple applications.

The result is an exciting, multidisciplinary theme with innovative and stimulating research potential.

Examples of current activities include electro-chemical fuel cell development, novel catalyst design, renewable alternatives to petroleum, polymer recycling and production of biodegradable plastics, biotreatment of wastes, laser mediated atmospheric pollution detection and modelling the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

This theme will have far-reaching impact for future generations as well as being of critical importance to today's society.

The research is conducted primarily in the Environmental Technology Centre here in the School (established in 1989), in the Satake Centre for Grain Process Engineering (established in 1994) and within the Sustainable Chemical Engineering group.

  • Pilot Scale Mixing Vessels
  • Modular Batch Processing Systems
  • Powder Processing
  • Flow Reactors, Micro Reactors
  • Process Control (Siemens PSC7 system)
  • Data Processing
  • Chemometrics
  • Analytical Spectroscopy and Imaging eg FTIR, Raman, NIR, uv/vis, NMR, ICP-MS, LIBS
  • Particle Size Analyzers
  • Optical Sensors
  • Process Tomography (x-ray, optical and ERT/ECT)
  • Multi-scale Modelling

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