First year CSCT student Michael Joyes visited the Lab of Green Catalysis group at the National University of Singapore (NUS) as part of the Global Collaboration Scheme. The aim was to produce metal-Graphene catalysts for use in the conversion of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons as part of the broader topic of carbon dioxide utilisation. Here is a little bit about his time there:
‘After thirteen long hours, countless movies and several meals on the plane I arrived at my accommodation in Singapore, jet-lagged but excited to start work. It was a short walk the next day to the National University of Singapore, where I proceeded to get lost in the huge American style NUS campus. I finally found my way to the correct building and met the Lab of Green Catalysis group led by Professor Yan Ning.
I embarked on this collaboration project after my supervisor Dr Davide Mattia secured funding from the Global Collaboration Scheme. The aim was to work with the Yan Ning group at the NUS to produce metal-Graphene catalysts for use in the conversion of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons as part of the broader topic of carbon dioxide utilisation. The Yan Ning group had developed a novel method that involved a ‘popping’ step where after the metal is added to the Graphene it is heated and pops once it reaches a certain temperature! (See video)
I got to grips with the methods associated with making this catalyst quickly and begun making as much as possible to take back to Bath for testing.
I had a weekend to explore Singapore and my first stop was Chinatown, where I got thoroughly lost in the crowds, I then made my way to explore the many malls and food courts the city has to offer, trying many different styles of food. Singapore is a very multicultural country so there is a varied range of cuisine such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Thai to name a few!
My next stop was the Singapore Botanic Gardens, first envisaged in 1822 by the founder of the city of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. The gardens feature several different areas such as the National Orchid Garden, the Healing Garden and the Rain Forest Garden. My personal favourite was the evolution garden which detailed the evolution of flora over time as you walked through it.
The next day I visited Marina Bay Sands Skypark, a viewing platform on top of three high-rise hotels. Up there I enjoyed a spectacular view of Singapore, dotted with skyscrapers, landmarks and sea.
I had a great time in Singapore and the two weeks flew by. I feel the experience helped me to learn the methods needed to further my project and produced a good amount of catalyst to hopefully get some good results from. It was also rewarding to learn more about the process of collaboration and great to meet new people from different parts of the world!
Michael is in cohort '14 of the CSCT and is currently working on his first MRes project with Dr Davide Mattia (Chemical Engineering) and Dr Matthew Jones (Chemistry).