In this core programme, we will develop new ways to extract the greatest value from a variety of sustainable chemical feedstocks, for example agricultural and manufacturing waste and other emerging potential feedstocks such as plastics and seaweed. Turning these waste streams and feedstocks into value-added chemicals is a key step in developing a circular economy, and it also prevents losing their already rich functionality.

To integrate renewable feedstocks into supply chains as alternatives to fossil fuels, this programme looks into challenges such as designing effective catalytic processes, being able to work with mixed and impure feedstocks, and developing or predicting specific properties from renewable resource upgrading.


Simon’s research focus is utilising renewable energy in catalytic transformations using a wide range of approaches, including electrocatalysis and visible light photocatalysis to upgrade resources such as CO2 and bio-ethanol into valuable commodity chemicals.

Dr Simon Freakley

Programme Lead (Bath)

Ben’s work aims to understand the reactions and manipulation of carbohydrates and proteins, in order to lead the design, synthesis and modification of potential therapeutic and biotechnologically applicable systems.

Professor Ben Davis

Programme Lead (Oxford)

Greg has experience in researching CO2 utilization in oxygenated block polymers, focusing on aspects of catalysis and functional material development. As one of iCAST’s core postdoctoral researchers based in Oxford, he will work on investigating sustainable polymer-biopolymer hybrid materials.

Dr Gregory Sulley

Core Researcher (Oxford)

Jon is an iCAST core postdoctoral researcher based in Bath. He is an experienced academic and industrial chemist with expertise in organic chemistry applied to bio-macromolecular applications including in the complex analysis and upgrading of real waste feedstocks.

Dr Jon Husband

Core Researcher (Bath)

Xuejian has experience in organic chemistry, including total synthesis of natural glycoconjugates and development of novel glycosylation methodologies. He is now focusing on the post-translational modifications of protein and related glycosylation reactions.

Dr Xuejian Yin

Core Researcher (Oxford)


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