Access to a plentiful supply of cheap, clean energy, along with a need to minimise impact on our environment, are amongst the foremost challenges of the 21st century.
Research on Nuclear Energy is primarily focused on the management, the disposition and ultimately the geological disposal of nuclear waste derived from the UK's historic legacy of weapons production and from expanded nuclear power production in the future. For Solar Energy to be utilised more widely, new and improved materials are needed for solar energy conversion. Bioenergy is renewable energy from biological sources, and we are involved in developing biotechnology for the production of biofuels from a variety of sources including agricultural wastes and cellulosic materials. Current concerns over Climate Change have placed carbon dioxide capture and the development of clean fuels at the forefront of energy research challenges. We have a strong interest in developing materials and procedures for Environmental Remediation.
Energy expertise across the University is brought together through Manchester Energy. Nuclear research is coordinated through the Dalton Nuclear Institute. We have unique expertise in the chemistry of radioactive elements within the Centre for Radiochemistry Research (CRR). Expertise in materials chemistry is coordinated through the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC), with research on speciality organic materials and polymers for energy and other applications being conducted in the Organic Materials Innovation Centre (OMIC), and on materials which have molecular-scale porosity, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks, in the Centre for Nanoporous Materials (CNM). Biotechnology research is conducted at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), which is home to the Centre of Excellence for Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture (CoEBio3).
Research on Nuclear Energy supports the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Nuclear Fission Research, Science and Technology (Nuclear FiRST).