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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

 
First prize at the RSC Emerging Technologies Competition 2015

David Fairen Jimenez and Tian Tian

A new spin-out from the Department, Immaterial, was awarded the 1st prize from the RSC Emerging Technologies Competition 2015. Now in its third year, this competition accelerates the commercialisation of the most impactful ideas in healthcare, energy and sustainability, and materials. The competition is backed by multinational partner companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Croda, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare, Schlumberger and Lubrizol. The 1stprize involved a tailored business support from partner companies, including access to networks, strategy review, potential commercial partnerships, idea evaluation, etc.; and a cash prize of £20,000

Tian Tian

Immaterial has been recently founded by two members of CEB: David Fairen-Jimenez and Tian Tian, together with Andrew Marsden and Thomas Fry, and is a result of the research from the Adsorption & Advanced Materials Lab. Our invention is in the field of a relatively new family of porous materials called metal-organic frameworks, which performs far better than any other class of material at storing and separating gases. Every year, hundreds of billions of pounds are spent on compressing gas to squeeze more into a tank for storage and transport. Typically, gases are compressed at source on huge tanker to take across the ocean, and then distributed in smaller tanks. What would be really useful would be to transport more gas in the same space, and at the same pressure. It would be amazing if we could just double storage capacity for the same footprint. Using the material designed in our lab inside a tank, we can store 16 times as much gas compared with the empty tank.

Andrew Marsden Thomas Fry

With the support of Cambridge Enterprise and Accelerate Cambridge, we have recently filed the PCT patent application for international protection of our technology, and have seed funding to scale up our product. The RSC prize will allow us to go one step further in the commercialisation.

David Fairen Jimenez is a Royal Society University Research Fellow leading the Adsorption & Advanced Materials Lab (AAML), and Tian Tian is a PhD student at the AAML.

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