Computing for catalysts

Quantum computing could transform the way commonly used chemical products are developed, thanks to a collaboration between Northumbria University and Procter & Gamble


Quantum computing could transform the way commonly used chemical products are developed, thanks to a collaboration between Northumbria University and Procter & Gamble.



Research by a team at Northumbria’s School of Applied Sciences, led by computational chemist Dr Marcus Durrant, has produced a new approach to the development of new catalysts.



Durrant is a computational chemistry expert specialising in biologically inspired computerised chemistry, bringing together evolutionary biology with computational chemistry, using quantum chemistry calculations.



Durrant’s method aims to replace the traditional experimental approach of trialling new catalysts, which can prove time-consuming and expensive.



In the project for Proctor and Gamble, 2,000 days worth of computer time will be used, with over 500 complex quantum calculations, each taking up to five days to complete. The new approach is ideal for tackling problems where more traditional experimental chemistry has struggled to find the answers.



The partnership between Northumbria University and Procter & Gamble was facilitated by the university’s Northumbria Commercial Enterprises division, which matches academic expertise with industrial need.