J S J Hargreaves

Head of School for Chemistry


Following undergraduate studies at the University of Liverpool form where he graduated in 1987, Justin Hargreaves remained at Liverpool being awarded his PhD in 1990 for a thesis related to the influence of morphology upon the MgO catalysed oxidative coupling of methane which was completed under the supervision of Professors Richard Joyner and Graham Hutchings CBE, FRS.   Following this he undertook a postdoctoral stay in the group of Professor Dr Roel Prins at ETH Zurich working in the area of CoMoS catalysed HDS and returned to Liverpool again to work under the supervision of Professors Joyner and Hutchings. In 1994, he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at Nottingham Trent University and in 2000 Principal Scientist at the University of Liverpool. In 2001, he joined the University of Glasgow where he is currently Professor of Catalytic Materials Chemistry and from January 2021 he will serve as Head of School for Chemistry. Amongst other activities, he is currently an editor of Applied Catalysis A: General, Editor-in-Chief of the RSC Catalysis book series, Treasurer of the International Association of Catalysis Societies and a UK Council member for the European Federation of Catalysis Societies and the International Advisory Board for the International Conference on Environmental Catalysis series.


Ammonia production, which is produced at the rate of ca. 174 million tons a year and which is growing annually by ca 1.5%, is pivotal in the sustenance of 40% of the global population via the accessibility of synthetic fertiliser. Ammonia has also been identified as a strong contender in the move to non-carbon-based fuels. Both these considerations provide a driving force for the development of more environmentally friendly ammonia synthesis which can be accomplished in small units on a local scale. The development of such sustainable localised routes to ammonia production will involve the replacement of the large, energy intensive and large carbon footprint Haber Bosch Process with appropriate alternatives. Strategies which are currently the focus of attention include photocatalytic, electrocatalytic and chemical looping-based approaches along with the development of higher activity catalysts suitable for small scale ammonia production. In this presentation, a materials-based approach will be illustrated in the context of the development of heterogeneous catalysts and chemical looping. Three inter-related systems will be described in the talk – CoRe based catalysts, CoMo and related nitride-based catalysts and chemical looping materials and initial studies related to anti-perovskite nitrides. The learning obtained from these studies will be linked together and summarised in the context of suggested future directions in the field.