Dr Alan McCue
BSc PhD MRSC
My principle research interests lie in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, with a particular emphasis on how activity and selectivity of hydrogenation catalysts (typically supported metals) can be manipulated by careful design. This can be achieved by a number of methods which include:
- Alloy formation and controlling surface composition
- Modifying surface properties by adsorption of organic ligands
- Incorporation of an inorganic element to change the structure (i.e., Pd + S)
Prepared catalysts can be characterised by a number of different techniques which range from routine (i.e., XRD, microscopy, physisorption or chemisorption) to more specialised (i.e., in-situ FTIR, temperature programmed methods and XAS). Catalyst performance is then evaluated by testing in either the liquid or gas phase at either ambient or elevated pressure/temperature. The most common reaction of interest is the selective hydrogenation of an alkyne to an alkene without over-hydrogenation to the alkane. This is a process of importance with regards to polymer production (i.e., polyethylene or polypropylene) and commodity chemicals in a number of areas. Other reactions of interest include Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and the preparation of alkenes from unconventional routes.
Standout papers to date include:
- Selective hydrogenation of mixed alkyne/alkene streams at elevated pressure over a palladium sulfide catalyst. A.J. McCue, A. Guerrero-Ruiz, C. Ramirez-Barria, I. Rodriguez-Ramos and J.A. Anderson. Journal of Catalysis, 355 (2017) 40-52.
- Quantification and qualification by in-situ FTIR of species formed on supported-cobalt catalysts during the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. A.I. McNab, A.J. McCue, D. Dionisi and J.A. Anderson. Journal of Catalysis, 353 (2017) 286-294.
- Palladium sulphide - A highly selective catalyst for gas phase hydrogenation of alkynes to alkenes. A.J. McCue, A. Guerrero-Ruiz, I. Rodriguez-Ramos and J.A. Anderson. Journal of Catalysis, 340 (2016) 10-16.
- Cu/Al2O3 catalyts modified with Pd for selective hydrogenation. A.J. McCue, C.J. McRitchie, A.M. Shepherd and J.A. Anderson. Journal of Catalysis, 319 (2014) 127-135.
I currently coordinate our Oil & Gas Masters programme and teach on the following courses:
CM1522 - Elements of Chemistry 2
CM4518 - Advanced Chemistry 3 (Catalysis)
CM4521 - Intregrated Chemistry
CM5535 - Chemistry of Refinery and Natural Gas Processes
CM5536 - Flow Assuracne and Oil Field Chemicals
CM5537 - Applied Analytical and Instrumental Methods
EG551Y - Oil and Gas Chemistry
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Metal Phosphides and Sulfides in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Electronic and Geometric EffectsACS Catalysis, vol. 11, no. 15, pp. 9102–9127Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Adsorbate-Induced Structural Evolution of Pd Catalyst for Selective Hydrogenation of AcetyleneACS Catalysis, vol. 10, no. 24, pp. 15048–15059Contributions to Journals: Articles
Rapid scan FTIR reveals propane (am)oxidation mechanisms over Vanadium based catalystsJournal of Catalysis, vol. 390, pp. 72-80Contributions to Journals: Articles
Comparison of Pd and Pd4S based catalysts for partial hydrogenation of external and internal butynesJournal of Catalysis, vol. 383, pp. 51-59Contributions to Journals: Articles
Influence of pretreatment on surface interaction between Cu and anatase-TiO2 in the simultaneous photoremediation of nitrate and oxalic acidJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, vol. 7, no. 2, 103029Contributions to Journals: Articles
Support morphology-dependent alloying behaviour and interfacial effects of bimetallic Ni–Cu/CeO2 catalystsChemical Science, vol. 10, no. 12, pp. 3556-3566Contributions to Journals: Articles
Evolution of palladium sulfide phases during thermal treatments and consequences for acetylene hydrogenationJournal of Catalysis, vol. 364, pp. 204-215Contributions to Journals: Articles
Palladium phosphide nanoparticles as highly selective catalysts for the selective hydrogenation of acetyleneJournal of Catalysis, vol. 364, pp. 406-414Contributions to Journals: Articles
Combined quantitative FTIR and online GC study of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis involving co-fed ethyleneJournal of Catalysis, vol. 362, pp. 10-17Contributions to Journals: Articles
Carbon Capture by Metal Oxides: Unleashing the Potential of the (111) FacetJournal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 140, no. 13, pp. 4736-4742Contributions to Journals: Articles