A College of Glasgow chemist is establishing a brand new analysis group with £1.4m in new funding from the Engineering and Bodily Sciences Analysis Council (EPSRC), a part of UK Analysis and Innovation.
Dr Nicola Bell has obtained an Open Fellowship award from the ESPRC to help groundbreaking new analysis into strategies of safely dealing with hazardous supplies in airless, moisture-free environments.
The analysis challenge, known as DIGINERT, will construct on work she started as a Analysis Fellow within the Faculty of Chemistry and her background in actinide chemistry.
Over the course of the five-year fellowship, Dr Bell and her collaborators will work to develop new automated distant dealing with instruments able to manipulating extremely reactive chemical species underneath inert circumstances.
The outcomes of their analysis might be used to develop improved strategies to deal with doubtlessly hazardous waste produced at nuclear energy crops. The nuclear business works with a variety of supplies that are extremely reactive in air and there’s a have to course of these supplies to make sure their secure administration, storage and disposal. Automation of this processing can subsequently enhance nuclear security and cut back prices.
Over the course of the five-year fellowship, Dr Bell and her staff will collaborate with companions at Sellafield Ltd to construct a brand new system which is able to allow safer dealing with of extremely reactive chemical compounds in inert atmospheres, the place they won’t be uncovered to the weather.
She may even work intently with Dr Bjoern Seitz and Dr Rick Grey of the College of Glasgow’s Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, and produce two newly-appointed postdoctoral researchers to hitch her within the challenge.
The DIGINERT staff will develop an automatic inert ambiance chemistry system, constructing new reactors and glassware able to excluding air and water, sustaining atmospheric security for lengthy intervals of time, and storing and transporting extremely reactive chemical compounds.
As a way to make sure that the system can work autonomously and securely, they may even develop new sensors and software program designed to offer advance warning of potential points and mitigate the dangers of dealing with hazardous chemical compounds in automation.
The expertise will likely be validated by way of work within the laboratory utilizing uranium compounds much like these present in nuclear waste supplies, and on-site on the Sellafield plant in Cumbria.
Dr Bell mentioned: “I’m very grateful to the EPSRC for funding my Open Fellowship, and for the help and encouragement I’ve obtained from my colleagues within the Faculty of Chemistry since I joined the College of Glasgow.
“The autonomy supplied by the Open Fellowship will permit me to mix the assorted strands of my prior experience to push the boundaries of the rising discipline of digital chemistry and allow me to deal with new purposes for inert-atmosphere nuclear science and reactive chemistry extra broadly.
“In the end, I hope that the system we develop will open new avenues for analysis in anaerobic and bespoke ambiance laboratory chemistry, and new alternatives for information trade between academia and business.”