University of Manchester Scientists unveil cutting-edge ruthenium catalyst for new reaction discovery and optimisation

Researchers at The University of Manchester have achieved a groundbreaking advancement in catalyst technology.

They have developed a new catalyst which has been shown to have a wide variety of uses and the potential to streamline optimisation processes in industry and support new scientific discoveries.

Catalysts, often considered the unsung heroes of chemistry, are instrumental in accelerating chemical reactions, and play a crucial role in the creation of most manufactured products. For example, the production of polyethylene, a common plastic used in various everyday items such as bottles and containers or found in cars to convert harmful gases from the engine’s exhaust into less harmful substances.

Among these, ruthenium – a platinum group metal – has emerged as an important and commonly used catalyst. However, while a powerful and cost-effective material, highly reactive ruthenium catalysts have long been hindered by their sensitivity to air, posing significant challenges in their application. This means their use has so far been confined to highly trained experts with specialised equipment, limiting the full adoption of ruthenium catalysis across industries. Read more