Dr J.D. Holbrey
BSc (University of Newcastle upon Tyne) 1987
PhD (University of Newcastle upon Tyne) 1991
Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry
Tel: + 44 (0) 28 9097 4836
Fax: + 44 (0) 28 9097 6524
I received my BSc(Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and remained in Newcastle for my PhD studies under the supervision of Joyce Lockhart, in collaboration with Amersham International, on the investigation of organ-specific targeted 99mTc-radiophamaceuticals. This lead me, into the soft matter arena through postdoctoral positions with Duncan Bruce (at Sheffield) and Klaus Praefcke (TU-Berlin) exploring new metal-containing lyotropic and thermotropic liquid crystals. From Germany, I moved to Belfast in 1996 to join Ken Seddon's studying the application of ionic liquids at a nascent stage in their genesis, first within the QUESTOR Centre and then within QUILL. Between 2001 and 2005, I served as a staff scientist with Robin Rogers in the Center for Green Manufacturing at the University of Alabama before returning to Belfast in 2005, as a senior research fellow. I moved to my present position of Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry in Dec 2011.
This ionic liquids research has (to-date) has been productive in terms of publications, applications, and recognition; with receipt of the US EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Academic Award in 2005, featuring at #59 in the 2010 Times Higher Education Supplement listing of the Top 100 Chemists in the world, and most recently, commercialisation of a novel mercury removal technology with Petronas in Malaysia.
My interests centre around exploiting the variable (and potentially controllable) properties of ionic liquid materials as host solvents in applications such as dissolution and processing of cellulose, extraction of polyaromatic sulfur compounds from fuels, metal ion extraction, and the reactive capture of mercury from natural gas streams.
The research approach is holistic; application-driven studies are underpinned by basic science - which seeks to understand the system properties at a molecular (or in this case ionic) scale, including neutron scattering (at ISIS, RAL) to extract liquid structure and solvation state data - and by the design, synthesis and characterisation of new ionic liquids in order to develop simple, cost-effective, deployment of new ionic liquid technologies.