A joint venture spin-out that will take forward a new class of materials invented by researchers at both institutions has been announced by the University of Liverpool and Queens University Belfast.
Porous Liquids Technologies Ltd has been founded on research carried out since 2015 when the first example of porous liquids were discovered by Professor Andy Cooper from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Chemistry and Professor Stuart James from Queens University’s School of Chemistry, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. They have since been developing their research to increase the yield and effectiveness of the porous liquids for a broad range of technological applications.
Containing up to 10,000 times the microscopic cavities or pores of conventional liquids, porous liquids also comprise up to around 20% of empty space- this enables them to absorb large amounts of gas and they can be tuned to selectively absorb one gas over another. Their major benefit is, unlike solids, that they can be circulated, meaning that they can be applied in a host of processes.
Developed originally for use in large scale industrial separations, the product has since attracted interest in the fields of medical diagnostics and household products.
Porous Liquids Technologies Ltd will provide solution-focused consulting, research and development and technology licensing. Emma Nolan, Head of IP Commercialisation at the University of Liverpool, will take a board position with the company.
Professor Anthony Hollander, PVC for Research and Impact at the University of Liverpool, said: “The University is delighted to be co-venturing in the spin out company Porous Liquids Technologies. This is an exciting innovation and we think there are benefits to be gained from further joint ventures between universities in the future.”
Professor Andy Cooper is also Academic Director of the University’s Materials Innovation Factory, an £81 million project dedicated to the research and development of advanced materials.