Ashley Receives BASF 2015 Catalysis Award

June 24, 2015
Dr. Andrew Ashley of Imperial College London receives the BASF Catalysis Award.

Dr. Andrew Ashley, research fellow of the Department of Chemistry of Imperial College London, receives the BASF 2015 Catalysis Award for his research contributions to the catalytic activation of hydrogen. The €10,000 prize is awarded biannually to young researchers. The award was presented by Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, head of BASF’s Process Research and Chemical Engineering unit at the Heidelberg Forum of Molecular Catalysis in June, a meeting of international experts organized jointly by Heidelberg University and BASF SE.

To promote the reactivity of the hydrogen molecule, Ashley is working with non-metallic components like amines or Lewis acidic organoboranes. Because of steric hindrance, these Lewis acids and bases cannot neutralize each other, resulting in the formation of “frustrated Lewis pairs” (FLP). Many FLPs are capable of splitting hydrogen heterolytically. In addition to his work on thermally and hydrolytically stable FLPs, Ashley is also searching for new metal-based systems for the reversible cleavage of hydrogen. The new strategies could contribute to a more sustainable design of classical industrial processes such as hydrogenations, according to BASF.

BASF partners with Imperial College London through UNIQUE, The BASF Academic Partnership Program. Through the program, the company’s research units develop enduring and constructive partnerships with the world’s top universities. Various joint projects are in progress at Imperial College, especially in the areas of materials science and chemical engineering.

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