FROM LIGNIN-DERIVED MONO -AROMATICS TO NEXT GENERATION GREEN SURFACTANTS AND ANTIMICROBIALS

Timur McArdle-Ismaguilov (Tim) Theme: Biocatalysis & Biotransformation, Downstream Processing, Sustainable Feedstock Cohort Year: 2017 Academic Partner: University of St Andrews Industry Partner: Unilever

Supervisors:Prof. Nick Westwood/ Prof. Alexandra M Slavin. Additional industrial partner: Blutest

I am originally from Lancaster and I received my MChem degree there under the supervision of Dr. Vilius Franckevičius where I worked on palladium-catalysed cross-couplings. Currently I am undergoing a four year PhD with Prof. Nick Westwood at the University of St Andrews. My industrial partner in this endeavour is Unilever.

My project is about trying to synthesize surfactants from more renewable sources. Aside from water, surfactants are probably used more than any other type of chemical in the world as they are extremely efficient for cleaning purposes. However, they are mostly synthesised from petroleum which is a finite supply and a major pollutant of the atmosphere. Hence, I shall be researching if it is possible to make surfactants from lignin- a very abundant bio-polymer found in trees.

I am very excited about my project and I hope that Unilever and I shall be able to make the world a greener place.