Environmental samples irradiated in UV chamber

The Environmental Applications group’s research focuses on developing and analysing novel materials for environmental applications in the real-world. This multidisciplinary group has the expertise and resources to tackle contemporary research challenges in environmental, sustainability and waste issues. A key strength of the group is their expertise in the characterisation and impact of plastic in the natural and managed environments, bioplastics and environmental footprint, recycling plastics and the analysis of metals in waste.

The group’s research is funded by a diverse range of external bodies and commercial companies, and often informs public policy and UK industry practices. 

Current research focuses on:

  • Biodegradability, ecotoxicity and environmental impact of novel materials, such as bioplastics, in managed and natural environments
  • Analysis of trace pollutants and other compounds using solid phase extraction with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs)
  • Recovery of valuable chemicals from materials in waste streams including both metals and organics
  • Upcycling biopolymers into food supplements and additives via electrospraying.
  • Supported catalysts and enzymes to recycle wastes into new materials or for their depolymerisation to recover the chemicals as feedstocks.
  • Developing and studying novel metal oxide heterogeneous catalysts for the emission control of vehicles and the water gas shift reaction

SEM of nanofibers for catalyst support

Group members