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Details for Professor Duncan Wass

Personal details
Name Professor Duncan Wass
Job title Professor of Catalysis
Department School of Chemistry University of Bristol
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
Qualifications BSc(Dunelm), PhD(Lond)
Professional details
Keywords homogeneous catalysis
organometallic compounds
coordination compounds
catalytic activity
clean chemical activity
Areas of expertise Our research interests are in the area of homogeneous catalysis using organometallic and coordination compounds. Catalysis is the key tool used both industrially and in academic laboratories to make useful molecules and a broad range of new and existing chemical products are our targets, from high molecular weight polymers to small molecules. The drivers for this work are achieving better catalytic activity and selectivity, using cheaper and greener feedstocks, and producing end-materials with better performance. Understanding the fundamental reaction pathways by which catalysis occurs is also central to achieving these objectives.

An exciting recent development is our discovery of a family of ethylene trimerisation catalysts based on chromium diphosphine complexes. These produce 1-hexene, an important comonomer for polyethylene manufacture. The performance of these catalysts is remarkable, being some 100 times more catalytically active (and 10 times more selective) than existing commercial systems!