Sustainable chemistry

Sustainable chemistry

Modern society relies completely on chemicals. They’re in the products we use, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the fuel we use to heat and power our lives. However, many of these chemicals come from fossil fuels, like oil and gas.

With the need to transition to a lower carbon future, our research focuses on developing chemicals more sustainably, by reducing the energy intensity of manufacturing processes and developing bio-based, renewable sources for chemical feedstocks. 

Our key research capabilities

We integrate the development of small-scale production of novel chemicals – often using synthetic biology – with process engineering facilities and expertise. Our research also covers techno-economic analyses to demonstrate which new chemicals can be produced economically at a commercial scale.

Major projects and investments

The Synthetic Biology Research Centre concentrates on engineering bacteria to make industrially-useful products from the waste greenhouse gases: principally carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, but with an interest in methane.

C1Net is dedicated to the development and scalable production of C1 gas fermentation for the whole IB community.

Located in the University’s award-winning Innovation Park, the Carbon Neutral Laboratory provides cutting-edge facilities for chemistry. The focus on sustainability is reflected in the building itself, which incorporates the latest technologies to allow it to be carbon-neutral over its lifetime.

Green chemicals is one of our six research Beacons of Excellence, bioengineering the next global industrial revolution and remaking the building blocks of the modern economy.

The Chemistry Business Partnership Unit supports innovation partnerships between academics and business.



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