The  Nano-structured Catalysts for CO2 Reduction project is a collaboration between Energy Futures Lab, a number of departments at Imperial College London and industrial partners. It initially ran for three years, from 1 May 2010 to 30 April 2013, and was funded by EPSRC with £1.7M through grant number EP/H046380/1. This was extended by EPSRC, receiving £1.5M through grant number EP/K035274/1 with an expected end date of 31 October 2016. The project is led by Professor Charlotte Williams.

The project is investigating a series of new catalysts and processes for the transformation of carbon dioxide into products, including fuels and polymers. The work uses at three parallel methods to generate useful end products from CO2: electrocatalytic, photocatalytic and thermo-catalytic. Building on the results of the original grant they are also working on catalyst optimisation and scale-up, development and optimisation of the process conditions and engineering for the nanocatalysts, process integration and engineering and detailed economic, energetic, environmental and life cycle analysis of the processes.

The project brought a multidisciplinary view to the research, the departments at Imperial involved are:

The industrial partners involved in the first grant were:

The industrial/external partners in the second grant are:


The project has already delivered new technologies, processes and catalysts for the transformation of carbon dioxide into potentially commercially relevant products.

Econic logo One major result was the formation of new spin-out company Econic Technologies to develop the studies on generating polymer plastics from CO2 into commerical products and processes. They are now a partner in the current phase of the project.