Research in supercritical fluids encompasses the development of chemical, biochemical and bio-processes. In principle the unique properties of critical fluids have the potential to foster the development of environmentally benign and therefore sustainable processes.
As such the Supercritical fluids research group is multi-disciplinary and encompasses sustainable 'green' chemistry and industrial biotechnology.
Dr Regina Santos works on the extraction of bio active and high value compounds from plants, seeds and fruits. She collaborates with Dr Gary Leeke on the supercritical gasification of biomass to produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells. Dr Leeke also works on the production of nanoparticles using supercritical methods.
Dr Bushra Al-Duri works on a number of areas of supercritical fluids, but most recently concentrated on oxidation of wastes in supercritical water. She was a visiting fellow at the University of Tokyo, 2007-8.
Projects in the supercritical fluids group include:
Innovative synthesis and processes in compressed carbon dioxide (EPSRC). The group were the first to report palladium mediated carbon-carbon bond forming reactions in continuous flow supercritical CO2.
Production of biodiesel using environmentally friendly solvents (Kuwaiti Government).
Generation of hydrogen from biomass and waste using supercritical water gasification (Advantage West Midlands, Science City).
Extraction of aqueous and polar compounds from plants and biomass (Unilever)
Destruction of toxic compounds from waste stream using sub- and super-critical water.