Dr Alan McCue

Dr Alan McCue
Dr Alan McCue
Dr Alan McCue

BSc, PhD, MRSC

Senior Lecturer

Accepting PhDs

About
Email Address
a.mccue@abdn.ac.uk
Office Address
036 Meston Building
Old Aberdeen Campus
Meston Walk
AB24 3UE

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School/Department
School of Natural and Computing Sciences

Biography

I recieved both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Aberdeen.  I am heavily involved in the Department of Chemistry's undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and am the programme director our MSc in 'Chemistry for Sustainable Energy'.  My 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. I also enjoy outreach work.

Qualifications

  • BSc Chemistry 
    2008 - University of Aberdeen 
  • PhD Chemistry 
    2012 - University of Aberdeen 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Programme director - Chemistry for Sustainable Energy MSc

External Memberships

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Latest Publications

View My Publications

Research

Research Overview

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 CO2 hydrogenation and biomass utilisation.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Chemistry.


Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Chemistry

Supervising
Accepting PhDs

Current Research

  • Selective alkyne hydrogenation
  • Development of CO2 hydrogenation catalysts
  • Catalysts for biomass upgrading
  • New and improved materials for gas separation

Funding and Grants

UKRI New Horizons - New route to zero carbon hydrogen (with Lancaster University as PI)

UK Catalysis Hub - Plasma-catalytic upgrading of biogas (with Dr Panos Kechagiopoulos as PI)

ScotChem - ATR for FTIR

UK Catalysis Hub - A supported molten-salt membrane reactor (with Newcastle University as PI & Glasgow University as CI)

Royal Society of Chemistry - Combining pulse chemisorption and FTIR into a single low-cost measurement

Carnegie Trust - Palladium sulphide as a hydrogenation catalyst

Teaching

Programmes

Courses

Teaching Responsibilities

I currently coordinate our Chemistry for Sustainable Energy MSc.  This programme gives students a high level understanding in the areas of electrochemical conversion devices (such as battery and fuel cell technology), carbon capture technologies and the hydrogen economy, amongst other topics.

Publications

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Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals