In order to meet the global demand for energy, water, food, raw materials and healthcare we need to support research and training in the area of Sustainable Chemistry. To meet the challenges ahead we need cleaner, more efficient, less consumptive and safer chemical processes.
Proposals in this area could concentrate, for example, on the use of renewable feedstocks, development of novel catalytic methods that operate at ambient temperatures or new chemistries that will replace rare, expensive and/or toxic chemicals with earth abundant, inexpensive and benign chemicals. Perhaps more specifically, the training could also address the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Grand Challenge "Utilising CO2 in Synthesis and Transforming the Chemicals Industry", which aims to find ways in which Carbon Dioxide(CO2) can be captured (chemically, mechanically and biologically) and then transformed into sustainable chemical feedstocks.
EPSRC would expect training in this area to be multidisciplinary, bringing together physical scientists and engineers. Research and training in this area could also be included in proposals for other priority areas where appropriate.
The challenge to produce more sustainable chemistries and chemicals is something that is faced by all chemical industries, including those in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, petrochemical, personal care product and agrochemical sectors, all of which have a presence in the UK. EPSRC would expect any centre in this area to have strong links with and involvement from industry.