Duncan Wass inaugural lecture: Molecular alchemy – catalysis as the applied philosopher’s stone

8 May 2013, 6.00 PM - 8 May 2013, 6.00 PM

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Chemistry, Cantock's Close
Duncan Wass

Duncan Wass

Catalysis is the chemist’s foremost tool in transforming simple molecules into more complex and valuable chemical products.

The role of catalysts as the agent for this transformation finds a metaphor in the mythical Philosopher’s Stone - the substance by which alchemists believed base metals would be turned into gold.

Whilst the Philosopher’s Stone is a fantasy, catalysis with its ability to efficiently and selectively transform molecules, is the applied technology at the heart of virtually all petrochemical processes. But its utility is now reaching beyond petrochemicals as a key component of a low-carbon future.

This lecture will describe recent work in which catalysts are allowing us to make advances that range from greener petrochemical processes, to the manufacture of next generation biofuels, to self-healing aeroplane wings.

This event is organised by the Public and Ceremonial Events Office.  The event is free and open to all.

If you require additional support for any of the lectures, e.g. wheelchair access or sign language interpretation, please contact Nicola Fry at the earliest opportunity and we will endeavour to meet your request.


Duncan Wass

Duncan Wass

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