Professor James Anderson

Professor James Anderson
GRSC MSc PhD (Dundee) CChem FRSC

Professor in Chemical Engineering

Professor James Anderson
Professor James Anderson

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272838
The University of Aberdeen Frazer Noble, Room 360

Research Interests

Surface Chemistry and Catalysis. Use of vibrational spectroscopy.

Current Research

Surface Chemistry and Heterogeneous Catalysis

Our research involves the use of multiple characterisation tools to determine the nature of solid surfaces and the processes which occur on these surfaces in the presence of gaseous and liquid- phase reactant molecules. Characteristics of these solids are determined by using a combination of bulk and surface specific techniques including XRD, solid state NMR, surface-area measurement, chemisorption, chemical reaction, X-ray absorption and infrared spectroscopy.

As catalysts' surfaces are dynamic, characterisation is often performed in-situ (with the sample at elevated temperatures/pressures in a flow of the reacting gases). This also allows us to identify species present during reaction, and define their role in the formation of products and thus elucidate reaction pathways.

Reactions of interest include: NOx reduction and pollutant gas control, activation of small hydrocarbons, selective hydrogenation, and asymmetric synthesis.

Solids of interest are (a) mixed oxides, (b) supported metals and bimetallics and (c) supported chiral reagents.

Amorphous mixed oxides are prepared by sol-gel chemistry and studied to determine the relationship between component mixing and the generation of Brønsted-acid sites. The objective is to be able to prepare on a custon basis oxides by controlled mixing and distribution of the components to generate solid acid catalysts which have specific acid strength and thus exhibit high selectivity towards the desired product.

In the case of supported bimetallics, we are concerned with determining how the distribution and mixing of the components influences the catalytic properties (activity, selectivity, and stability) and also in determining how the distribution of components is influenced by reactant/product gases and by regeneration procedures.

The ability to perform chemical reactions and obtain high yields of a single enantiomer is of considerable current interest to the pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals industries. We are currently involved in projects involving asymmetric hydrogenation and hydroformylation reactions with the aim of producing highly enantioselective processes. The procedures involve anchoring chiral complexes to a solid surface in order to induce chirality at the catalyst active site.


Teaching Responsibilities


  • CM5519 Natural gas and Refinery Chemistry
  • CM5515 Oil and Gas Chemistry
  • CM5535 Refinery processing

Course coordinator: CM5515 Oil and gas Chemistry

                              EG551J Renewables Energy




update | about Staff Pages