Chemical Manufacturing, Grants and funding, Manufacturing News

Researcher receives ARC grant to explore green catalysts

Researcher receives ARC grant to explore green catalysts

Professor Shaobin Wang was awarded over $3.3 million for his ground-breaking research into developing more environmentally friendly catalysts for industrial use, with the aim of reducing hazardous waste in Australia’s manufacturing industry.

Professor Wang is from the University of Adelaide’s School of Chemical Engineering and has been named one of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) 2023 Australian Laureate Fellows.

He is one of 17 new Australian Laureate Fellows to receive a share of the $53.9 million in ARC funding over five years and joins three other University of Adelaide ARC Industry Laureate Fellows awarded earlier this year.

Associate Professor Phill Cassey received more than $3.7 million for the development of new tools to combat wildlife crime while Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem was granted more than $3.3 million to manufacture fluoride glass optical fibres for faster internet speed.

The third University of Adelaide recipient, Professor Shizhang Qiao, received $3.5 million in funding to design new sodium-based batteries to store renewable energy.

“I’m very honoured to receive this funding to allow me to carry out my important research into green catalysts,’ said Professor Wang.

“Catalysts are substances that speed up chemical reactions. They are incredibly important for industrial processes, but they often require the use of toxic and/or rare metals.

“Through my research, I’m hoping to improve knowledge of chemical reactions and use this to develop metal-free catalysts to fast track the adoption of green technologies by Australia’s manufacturing industries.”

Professor Wang said the project will position the University as a global leader in green catalysts and bring about a transition to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future by reducing hazardous waste.

“Through my research, I’m hoping to improve knowledge of chemical reactions and use this to develop metal-free catalysts to fast track the adoption of green technologies by Australia’s manufacturing industries,” he said.

Acting deputy vice-chancellor (Research) Professor Laura Parry congratulated Professor Wang on securing this prestigious Laureate Fellowship.

“Professor Wang’s research into using nonmetals for green catalysis highlights the exceptional, transformative work that’s happening at the University of Adelaide,” said Professor Parry.

“As one of Australia’s most research-intensive institutions, our highly talented experts are leading the way in the search for more sustainable solutions to global challenges. This is just one example of how we’re helping to create a better future for generations to come.”

More details about the 2023 Australian Laureate Fellows and their research projects can be found on the ARC website.

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