Prof Jason Hallett performs research involving the solution behaviour of ionic liquids and the use of ionic liquids in the production of lignocellulosic biofuels, sustainable chemical feedstocks, vaccine manufacturing and waste recycling (particularly for metal-contaminated solid materials). This research is supported by both the UKRI and industry.
Prof Hallett currently serves as a core member of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and the Future Vaccines Manufacturing Research Hub.
He is also co-founder of 6 spin-out companies based on the group's research:
Lixea, a circular bioeconomy company which uses low-cost ionic liquids to fractionate waste biomass for biofuel, chemical and material production from cellulose and lignin. Lixea operates a pilot plant in Sweden for the Dendronic process, which is the commercial version of teh group's ionoSolv process.
Nanomox, which produces advanced materials, especially metal oxides, from metallic waste streams using the ionic-liquid based technology Oxidative Ionothermal Synthesis (OIS), developed in the group.
EcoSAF, which produces bio-derived furan-based surfactants for detergent and personal care applications. The surfactants demonstarte superior performance to petrochemical surfactants but are fully biodegradable, non-toxic and renewable. They have a similar cost point to market detergents.
DyeRecycle, which extracts dyes from waste textiles and transfers them to new fabrics, enabling easier textile recycling and creating the first circular dyeing process. DyeRecycle uses ionic liquids to achieve a waterless dyeing solution.
CO2Co, which is a recently launched direct air capture company developing extremely large-scale CO2 removal solutions.
Ionic Recovery, which is a circular economy company that de-metallizes a wide range of waste bio-based feedstocks, such as sewage sludge.
A very special company was also founded by one of the group's PhD studnts:
Oorja (Dr Clementine Chambon) is a social enterprise dedicated to changing teh lives of rural farmers i nIndia by bring solar electricity for irrigation, commercial and home use to communities without adequate access to power.
Prof Hallett received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined Imperial College, first with a Marshall-Sherfield Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sustainable Chemistry and in 2014 was appointed a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, before promotion to Reader in 2016 and Professor in 2018. He has authored over 150 articles and holds 10 patents.
We have several opportunities we are currently seeking candidates for
Nanocellulosoic materials from waste wood using low-cost ionic liquids
Supervisors: Jason Hallett; Agi Brandt-Talbot
Nanocellulosic Materials (NCMs), cellulose fibers that have at least one dimension that measures less than 100 nm, such as Nano-Crystalline Cellulose (NCCs) and Cellulose NanoFibers (CNFs), is an emerging group of materials that utilise the added functionalities of cellulose when at a nanoscale. NCMs have high aspect ratio and a lower density and higher tensile strength than traditional reinforcement materials, while their Young’s Modulus is comparable. The abundance of hydroxyl surface groups allows for surface modification of the
nanocellulose particles which can impact their dispersibility and ability to form ordered alignments. These are important characteristics for applications such as fillers and reinforcements in composites, for films, hydrogels and emulsions, which can be used in applications such as for packaging, drug delivery, sensors and electronic devices. We have recently proven that ionoSolv cellulose remains in fibre form and the fibre length is shortened, making it potentially an ideal raw material for NCM production.
This project will develop and optimize the production of NCMs using the ionoSolv process followed by total chlorine free bleaching (green oxidation) from waste feedstocks. You will characterize the bleached pulps and final NCMs and correlate the final properties with the starting feedstocks and process conditions, with the goal of optimizing particle size, crystallinity, chemical modifications and adding tailored surface groups. This will produce lowcost, sustainable NCMs, using fewer steps than current processes.
The project is a collaboration with Lixea: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/grantham-institute/public/dtp/projects-2020-21/2021_85_ChemEng_Hallett.pdf
PhD studentships: The Department of Chemical Engineering is currently accepting applications from outstanding students for our Departmental PhD Studentships (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/engineering/departments/chemical-engineering/courses/postgraduate/phd/scholarships/).
These are fully funded 42-month positions with a host academic. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship hosted in my lab, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Integrated Biorefinery Research:
This area of research focusses on the simultaneous production of both biofuels and chemical feedstocks from renewable resources, such as from lignocellulosic biomass. This involves a range of research areas in my group, including:
Deconstruction of Biomass using Ionic liquids
Enzymatic Biocatalysis in Protein-friendly Ionic Liquids
Bioprocess Development and Scale-up
Other Ionic Liquids Research:
Vaccine Formulation Development for Room Temperature Storage and Enhanced Delivery
Metal Recovery from Waste Streams
Process, Techno-economic, and Socio-economic Modelling of Ionic Liquid Biorefining
Catalytic Production of Platform Chemicals from Biomass using Ionic Liquids
Interactions of Ionic Liquids with Biopolymers
Recycling Ionic Liquids
Textile and Dye Recycling using Ionic Liquids
Wastewater Treatment using Supported Ionic Liquids
Corrosion in Ionic liquids
Other Research Topics:
Biobased Surfactant Production from Biorefinery Waste
Solvent-based Carbon Capture and Storage Perspectives
et al., 2011, Structural characterization and DFT study of (VO)-O-IV(acac)(2) in imidazolium ionic liquids, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol:13, ISSN:1463-9076, Pages:15094-15102
et al., 2011, Salts dissolved in salts: ionic liquid mixtures, Chem. Sci., Vol:2, Pages:1491-1496-1491-1496
et al., 2009, Charge Screening in the S(N)2 Reaction of Charged Electrophiles and Charged Nucleophiles: An Ionic Liquid Effect, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Vol:74, ISSN:0022-3263, Pages:1864-1868
et al., 2008, Esterification in ionic liquids: The influence of solvent basicity, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Vol:73, ISSN:0022-3263, Pages:5585-5588
et al., 2008, Hydroformylation catalyst recycle with gas-expanded liquids, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol:47, ISSN:0888-5885, Pages:2585-2589
Ranieri G, Hallett JP, Welton T, 2008, Nucleophilic reactions at cationic centers in ionic liquids and molecular solvents, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol:47, ISSN:0888-5885, Pages:638-644