Renewable Engine PhD Researcher Presents at the Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium
Zara Shiels, PhD student at South West College, has presented her work at the Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium held at TU Dublin. Zara’s work is focused on the ionic liquid-assisted synthesis of nanocatalysts for the direct conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to hydrocarbons.
Working alongside academics at both South West College and Queen’s University Belfast, Zara’s research involves the development of new nanocatalysts for the direct conversion of biogenic CO2 to “drop-in” fuels in the gasoline range (C8-C12), resulting in a sustainable production route. Her studies involve the use of hydrogen from renewable sources and directly converting CO2, which offers an attractive route for the efficient utilisation of CO2 as a renewable feedstock. Generally, the direct CO2 hydrogenation to hydrocarbons proceeds via a modified Fischer−Tropsch synthesis (FTS) process. Iron-based catalysts have been widely investigated recently because of their low cost, high activity, and their operation with different syngas ratios in a temperature range of 220−270°C to produce gasoline components in FTS. Controlling the metal particle size and their dispersion is the major challenge when investigating structure–activity relationships. Novel synthetic catalytic approaches will result in a pathway for the controlled growth and dispersion of the nanocatalyst.
The 71st Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium was held in TU Dublin and RCSI on June 20th and June 21st 2019. This Colloquium is an annual event hosted by Irish Universities, alternately in Dublin and elsewhere in the country. This colloquium provides an opportunity for the chemistry research community, particularly postgraduates, within Ireland’s third level sector to disseminate their work either by an oral presentation or poster presentation. The event provides an opportunity to allow postgraduate students to network and develop possible collaborations.