Radio 4 Material World: Zeolites (last half of the programme)
University Shambles - my first novel
My research/consulting interests concern environmental decontamination and pollutant degradation, nanoporous materials for green chemistry, renewable energy sources and fuels, including fuels made from algae, and the development of sustainable societies.
I am based in Reading in the U.K.
Career to Date
I started my career in industry, spending 4 years in total with Beecham Pharmaceuticals and Wellcome Research. I am a graduate of the University of Sussex, having obtained both my B.Sc and D.Phil there, followed by a 2 year period as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Leicester with Professor M.C.R.Symons, FRS. Subsequently, I worked for 2 years as a lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Thames Polytechnic, before moving to Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, as a lecturer in Organic Chemistry where I remained for 5 years, until being appointed as Research Professor in Chemistry at Liverpool John Moores University in 1994. I was awarded a D.Sc in 2003 by the University of Sussex.
In a five-year period, I was awarded grants totalling £1.4m; additionally central facilities to the value of £4.8m were awarded via competitive peer review .
This support came from: research councils (EPSRC; BBSRC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Wellcome Trust, the Paul Scherrer Institute, industry (Shell Research, Ceram Research, Courtaulds, Akross Chemicals, JEOL Ltd., Bruker Spectrospin, Unilever Research, Convatec), the European Union, NATO, The Royal Society, the Government of China and the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC, based in Moscow).
In August 2003, I moved down to Reading where I am currently based, and set-up as an independent consultant for energy and the environment, in which capacity I am involved in projects concerning land decontamination, radioactive waste management, antioxidants and free radical toxicology, radiation effects on biomolecules and on satellite components, and a feasibility study of alternative fuels and energy sources based on biomass and algae, and hydrothermal conversion of biomass and algae to biochar, fuels and oil-independent feedstocks for industry. My current funding is from several commercial enterprises, the MoD and the European Commission, for whom I act as an independent expert.
Recent research/consultancy projects
One current environmental project is concerned with using natural zeolites (clinoptilolite) to clean liquid nuclear waste from the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant in Armenia.
In total around 200 publications have arisen from the successful outcome of these and related activities. One recent paper has received around 800 citations.
The collaboration and support of the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory and the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland) render possible the development of radiolabelling and time-resolved spectroscopic studies of processes involving radicals, particularly in atmospheric and environmental pollution chemistry. Additional collaborations with PSI concern measuring the diffusion of water in clays to be used for radioactive-waste remediation and hydrothermal biomass (algae) conversion to fuels.
I have given invited plenary lectures at the International Symposium on Radical Ions in Uppsala, the 2nd International Conference of the Polish EPR Association, the 17th International Conference on Radical Ions in Spain, two International Workshops on EPR (EMARDIS) in Sofia (Bulgaria), the International Conference on Spin-Trapping (SPIN) in Kaiserslautern, the 34th International Meeting of the Electron Spin Resonance Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry (University of Bristol) and the keynote lecture at the ISTC Workshop on “Prospective Materials and Devices for Solar Energy and Space Applications,” in Yerevan, Armenia. I have lectured at: the University of Basle, the University of Notre Dame Radiation Laboratories, the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), the University of Ioannina (Greece), Kocaeli University (Turkey), the University of Leipzig, Texas Tech University, Rice University (Houston), the University of Texas at Arlington, the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava (Slovakia), the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra (Slovakia) the Yerevan Physics Institute and the Yerevan State University (Armenia).
I have given invited lectures at many international conferences and in university departments around the world, and radio and televised interviews, on a range of subjects, and more recently at popular science venues, e.g. Cafe' Scientifique, Science Cafe, University of the third age (U3A, The Women's Institute, on the theme of the depletion of world oil reserves and the necessary development of sustainable, less transport-dependent societies.
Past and current projects, involve groups both in the U.K. and in the wider world. Particular international links are with: Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Armenia and Russia.
Using conventional ESR methods:
Using radiolabelled free radicals :
Additional Professional Details
(1) European union, FP7 (Evaluator).
(2) British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. (BNFL) (zeolites to clean liquid nuclear waste).
(3) Convatec (pharmaceutical formulations).
(4) Galvanizers Association (zeolites).
(5) Akross Chemicals (ultrasound in synthesis).
(6) Avecia (pharmaceutical formulations).
(7) Creative Energy Systems, Switzerland, (advisor on biomedical microwave technologies).
(8) Ministry of Defence (MOD).
(9) Unilever Research (Polluted land Decontamination).
(10) Suntricity, Canada (Quantum Dot Solar Cells).
Global Warming as Seen from the Standpoint of Fundamental Physics and Chemistry
An ongoing project by A.Koewius and C.J.Rhodes (translating from the German language into English): http://www.koewius.de/Website/Climate_Change .