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Doctor Carmine D'Agostino

Doctor Carmine D'Agostino

Lecturer, Senior Fellow of Wolfson College

Porous Materials


Heterogeneous catalysis

Adsorption and diffusion

Theory of liquids

Ionic liquids

Office Phone: 01223 335245


PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge, 2012

MEng in Chemical Engineering, Universita di Napoli Federico II, 2006

BEng in Chemical Engineering, Universita di Napoli Federico II, 2004

Research Interests

Magnetic Resonance group

Catalysis group

Heterogeneous catalysis is an essential technology with applications in numerous fields such as production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, polymers, in fuel cell and in pollution control systems. Even though our understanding of the way solid surfaces can interact with molecules, break them down, and form new products has increased enormously, catalysts are still predominantly developed by an intuitive trial-and-error approach. Moreover, many aspects of liquid-phase heterogeneous catalytic reactions are still unclear, such as solvent effects, which are a particularly important issue, for example.

Adsorption and diffusion of reactants, products and solvents play a key role in determining the overall activity of a chemical reaction in porous catalysts. In recent years, Pulsed-Field Gradient (PFG)-NMR diffusometry and NMR relaxometry have emerged as non-invasive, chemically selective techniques to study diffusion and adsorption in porous media, such as rocks and construction materials. I have recently extended the application of such methods to porous catalysts, including metal supported nanoparticles.

My field of research focuses on the application of several analytical methods, including NMR techniques, to study and understand the behaviour of liquids  in porous catalysts close to "realistic reaction conditions" with the final goal of developing and establishing a novel methodology for a more rational design of heterogeneous catalytic processes, with a particular focus on solvent selection, choice of suitable supports, catalyst poisoning and deactivation issues. I also investigate diffusion processes in liquid mixtures, which are of importance in the design of many unit operations in Chemical Engineering.

Other Professional Activities

Director of Studies for Wolfson College


  • diffusion
  • porous media
  • TPD
  • NMR
  • Reaction Engineering
  • material characterisation
  • adsorption
  • ionic liquids
  • sustainability
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • catalysis
  • green chemistry

Collaborators outside this directory

Key Publications

  • "Maxwell-Stefan diffusion coefficient estimation for ternary systems: an ideal ternary alcohol system”, T. Allie-Ebrahim, Q. Zhu, P. Bräuer, G. D. Moggridge, C. D’Agostino, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2017 (in press)
  • "Effect of paramagnetic species on T1, T2 and T1/T2 NMR relaxation times of liquids in porous CuSO4/Al2O3”, C. D’Agostino, P. Bräuer, P. Charoen-Rajapark M. D. Crouch, RSC Advances, 2017 (in press)
  • “Increased affinity of small gold particles for glycerol oxidation over Au/TiO2 probed by NMR relaxation methods”, C. D’Agostino, G. Brett, G. Divitini, C. Ducati, G. J. Hutchings, M. D. Mantle, L. F. Gladden, ACS Catalysis, 7, 4235–4241, 2017

  • "Swelling-induced structural changes and microparticle uptake of gelatin gels probed by NMR and CLSM”, C. D’Agostino, R. Liuzzi, L. F. Gladden, S. Guido, Soft Matter, 13, 2952-2961, 2017
  • "Inhibitory effect of oxygenated heterocyclic compounds in mesoporous catalytic materials: A Pulsed-Field Gradient NMR diffusion study", C. D’Agostino, M. D. Mantle, L. F. Gladden Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 2017
  • "Solvent inhibition in the liquid-phase catalytic oxidation of 1,4-butanediol: Understanding the catalyst behaviour from NMR relaxation time measurements”, C. D’Agostino, M. R. Feaviour, G. L. Brett,  J. Mitchell, A. P. E. York, G. J. Hutchings, M. D. Mantle, L. F. Gladden, Catalysis Science & Technology, 6, 7896-7901 201
  • "Do Group 1 metal salts form deep eutectic solvents?”, A. P. Abbott, C. D’Agostino, S. Davis, L. F. Gladden and M. D. Mantle, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 18, 25528-25537, 2016
  • “Assessing the effect of reducing agents on the selective catalytic reduction of NOx over Ag/Al2O3 catalysts”, C. D’Agostino, S. Chansai, I. Bush, C. Gao, M. D. Mantle, C. Hardacre, L. F. Gladden, Catalysis Science & Technology, 6, 1661-1666, 2016
  • Prediction of mutual diffusion coefficients in binary liquid systems with one self-associating component from viscosity data and intra-diffusion coefficients at infinite dilution, Q. Zhu, C. D'Agostino, M. Ainte, M. D. Mantle, L. F. Gladden, O. Ortona, L. Paduano, D. Ciccarelli, G.D. Moggridge, Chemical Engineering Science, 147, 118-127, 2016
  • “A local composition model for the prediction of mutual diffusion coefficients in binary liquid mixtures from tracer diffusion coefficients”, Q. Zhu, G. D. Moggridge, C. D’Agostino, Chemical Engineering Science, 132, 250–258, 2015
  • “Molecular and ionic diffusion in aqueous-deep eutectic solvent mixtures: Probing inter-molecular interactions using PFG NMR”, C. D’Agostino, L. F. Gladden, M. D. Mantle, A. P. Abbott, E. I. Ahmed, A. Y. M. Al-Murshedi, R. C. Harris,  Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17, 15297-15304 2015
  • “Deactivation studies of a carbon supported AuPt nanoparticulate catalyst in the liquid-phase aerobic oxidation of 1,2-propanediol", C. D’Agostino, Y. Ryabenkova, P. J. Miedziak, S. H. Taylor, G. J. Hutchings, L. F. Gladden, M. D. Mantle, Catalysis Science & Technology, 4, 1313-1322, 2014

  • “In situ study of reaction kinetics using compressed sensing NMR”, Chemical Communications, Y. Wu, C. D’Agostino, L. F. Gladden, D. J. Holland, 50, 14137-14140, 2014

  • “Mesoscopic structuring and dynamics of alcohol/water solutions probed by Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy and Pulsed Field Gradient Nuclear Magnetic Resonance”, R. Li, C. D'Agostino, J. McGregor, M. D. Mantle, J. A. Zeitler, L. F. Gladden, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 118, 10156-10166, 2014

  • “Assessing the use of NMR chemical shifts for prediction of VLE in non-ideal binary liquid mixtures”, Q. Zhu, G. D. Moggridge, T. Dalton, J. Cooper, M.D. Mantle, L. F. Gladden, C. D’Agostino, Chemical Engineering Science, 119, 331-333, 2014

  • “Catalyst synthesis by mechanochemistry”, K. L. Ralphs, S. James, C. Hardacre, R.  Burch, S. Chansai, C. D'Agostino, L. F. Gladden, Catalysis Today - Special Issue Green Catalysis, 2014

  •  “The effect of coke deposition on the activity and selectivity of HZSM-5 zeolite during ethylbenzene alkylation reaction in the presence of ethanol”, S. Al-Khattaf, C. D'Agostino, M. N. Akhatar, N. Al-Yassir, N. Y. Tan and L. F. Gladden, Catalysis Science & Technology, 4, 1017–1027, 2014

  • “Assessing the surface modifications following the mechanochemical preparation of a Ag/Al2O3 selective catalytic reduction catalyst”, K. Ralphs, C. D’Agostino, R. Burch, S. Chansai, L. F. Gladden, C. Hardacre, S. L. James, J. Mitchell, S. F.R. Taylor, Catalysis Science & Technology, 4, 531-539, 2014

  • “Effect of grafting zirconia and ceria onto alumina as a support for silicotungstic acid for the catalytic dehydration of glycerol to acrolein”, M. H. Haider, C. D’Agostino, N. F. Dummer, M. D. Mantle, L. F. Gladden, D. W. Knight, D. J. Willock, S. T. Taylor, G. J. Hutchings , Chemistry – A European Journal, 20, 1-11, 2014

  • "Solvent effect and reactivity trend in the aerobic oxidation of 1,3-propanediols over gold supported on titania: NMR diffusion and relaxation studies”, C. D’Agostino, T. Kotionova, J. Mitchell, P. J. Miedziak, D. W. Knight, S. T. Taylor, G. J. Hutchings, L. F. Gladden, M. D. Mantle, Chemistry – A European Journal, 19, 11725-11732, 2013

  • “Hydrogen bonding network disruption in mesoporous catalyst supports probed by PFG-NMR diffusometry and NMR relaxometry”, C. D’Agostino, J. Mitchell, L. F. Gladden, M. D. Mantle, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 116, 8975-8982, 2012

  • “Prediction of binary diffusion coefficients in non-ideal mixtures from NMR data: Triethylamine-water near its consolute point”, C. D’Agostino, M.D. Mantle, L. F. Gladden, G. D. Moggridge, Chemical Engineering Science, 74, 105-113, 2012

  • “Glycerol Eutectics as sustainable solvent systems”, A. P. Abbott, R. C. Harris, K. S. Ryder, C. D’Agostino, L. F. Gladden, M. D. Mantle, Green Chemistry, 13, 82-90, 2011

  • “Molecular motion and ion diffusion in choline chloride-based deep eutectics solvents studied by 1H pulsed-field-gradient NMR spectroscopy”, C. D’Agostino, A. P. Abbott, R. C. Harris, L. F. Gladden, M. D. Mantle, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 13, 21383-21391, 2011

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