We invented porous liquids in 2015
The pores allow fast uptake and release of large volumes of gas
They can be tuned for selectivity
Being liquids, they flow and can be circulated
There are many uses in a wide range of industries
We’re here to help you discover your applications

What are porous liquids?

Porous liquids are a new class of liquid materials that contain microscopic cavities (pores), each the size of a single molecule. They contain up to 10 000 times the number of cavities that are found in conventional liquids, and up to around 20% of the liquid is actually empty space.

Thanks to these cavities, porous liquids can absorb large amounts of gas and they can be tuned to selectively absorb one gas over another — as for porous solids, which are widely applied in industry. However, a critical advantage over porous solids is that porous liquids can also flow through pipes, meaning that they can be applied in a host of different ways.

For example, they can be implemented in continuous flow separations or be drop-in replacements for liquid absorption systems based on conventional liquids, such as amine solutions.

Example applications
Our Approach

The Porous Liquid Technologies way of working

We invented porous liquids and lead the world in this technology.
We will help to solve your company’s problems and realise
new opportunities using our team’s expertise in porous liquids and
related materials combined with our industry knowledge and
commercial experience. We provide solution-focused consulting, research and development, and technology licensing.

Contact Us

Porous liquids offer these benefits

Fluidity – unlike porous solids, they can be circulated and thereby
implement gas separations efficiently in continuous flow processes.

Size- and shape-selective dissolution of gases – unlike normal solvents, the dissolution of gases in porous liquids is controlled by the size and shape of the pores. Porous liquids can therefore be tailored to dissolve one gas over another with high selectivity. The pores in porous liquids also enable vastly greater amounts of gases to dissolve than is possible in conventional solvents.

They are designable – porous liquids are a modular platform
technology and can be made from a wide range of different
components. The properties of the porous liquid such as gas
solubility, gas selectivity, viscosity, operating temperature range,
toxicity, biocompatibility and conductivity can all be controlled to
suit a given application

Chemical and thermal stability
Porosity
Flow
Selectivity by design
Scaleable synthesis

The Porous Liquid Team

We invented porous liquids and have unrivalled expertise in these materials. We have a wealth of experience in innovative materials discovery, in the chemicals industry and in meeting real world business needs

Stuart James

Co-inventor of porous liquids and co-founder. Stuart brings innovative materials design and synthesis for targeted solutions.

Stuart James

BSc PhD CChem FRSC

Stuart brings 25 years’ experience in the design, synthesis, discovery and production of innovative materials both in academia and in commercial areas. He enjoys challenging conventional thinking and to find the most efficient solution to a problem.

Other current/past roles:

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Queen’s University Belfast
Co-founder, Director and CTO, MOF Technologies; inventor of their technology platform

Andy Cooper

FRS MAE

Andy is a research leader in functional materials research and the inventor of three influential classes of materials; conjugated microporous polymers, porous organic cages and (with Co-Founder Stuart James), porous liquids. He has interests in experimental materials chemistry, computational design and high-throughput robotic methodologies for materials discovery.

Other current/past roles:

Academic Director, Materials Innovation Factory and Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, University of Liverpool

Andy Cooper

Co-inventor of porous liquids and co-founder. Andy is an expert in functional materials discovery.

Barry Murrer

MA DPhil CChem FRSC

Barry has 35 years of experience in industrial R and D with the FTSE 100 company, Johnson Matthey. From 2000 to retirement in 2014 he was Director of the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre and responsible for 200 scientists working on long and medium-term R and D in catalysis, metal refining, electrochemistry, fuel cells, battery materials and other new applications.

He has been directly involved in the process of invention, through development and onwards into full commercialisation. One of his inventions is used to refine a large proportion of the worlds precious metals and another has been a successful treatment for control of phosphate in dialysis patients.

Currently a visiting Professor at Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Barry Murrer

Co-Founder. Barry brings long experience of industrial R and D and bringing new technologies to market.

David Moore

David is an Investment Manager with QUBIS Ltd, the early stage investment fund responsible for the commercialisation of technology from The Queen’s University of Belfast.

He has been involved in high-growth venture capital backed businesses for over 20 years. His experience covers both a wide range of technology sectors and various stages of company growth from incorporation through to exit. He currently holds Non-Executive Board positions with a number of the QUBIS Ltd spin-out ventures.

Prior to joining QUBIS Ltd, David worked with a regional development agency specialising in high growth export orientated technology businesses and spent a period of time within the defence industry.

David has a primary degree in Engineering, a Masters degree in Business Strategy and a professional finance qualification.

David Moore

Head of Spin Outs & Investments, QUBIS Ltd.

David James

BSc MBA CEng FIET MIoD

Dave brings substantial business expertise and wide project and general management experience. He has a passion for team working, high expectations and superior performance. A co-founder, Dave serves as Chairman.

Other current/past roles

Creative Solutions Space Ltd: Managing Director

L-3 National Security Solutions: Group Senior Vice President

L-3 ASA: President and CEO

David James

Co-Founder. Dave brings business expertise and a passion for business performance.

Stuart James

BSc PhD CChem FRSC

Stuart brings 25 years’ experience in the design, synthesis, discovery and production of innovative materials both in academia and in commercial areas. He enjoys challenging conventional thinking and to find the most efficient solution to a problem.

Other current/past roles:

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Queen’s University Belfast
Co-founder, Director and CTO, MOF Technologies; inventor of their technology platform

Stuart James

Co-inventor of porous liquids and co-founder. Stuart brings innovative materials design and synthesis for targeted solutions.

Andy Cooper

FRS MAE

Andy is a research leader in functional materials research and the inventor of three influential classes of materials; conjugated microporous polymers, porous organic cages and (with Co-Founder Stuart James), porous liquids. He has interests in experimental materials chemistry, computational design and high-throughput robotic methodologies for materials discovery.

Other current/past roles:

Academic Director, Materials Innovation Factory and Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, University of Liverpool

Andy Cooper

Co-inventor of porous liquids and co-founder. Andy is an expert in functional materials discovery.

Barry Murrer

MA DPhil CChem FRSC

Barry has 35 years of experience in industrial R and D with the FTSE 100 company, Johnson Matthey. From 2000 to retirement in 2014 he was Director of the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre and responsible for 200 scientists working on long and medium-term R and D in catalysis, metal refining, electrochemistry, fuel cells, battery materials and other new applications.

He has been directly involved in the process of invention, through development and onwards into full commercialisation. One of his inventions is used to refine a large proportion of the worlds precious metals and another has been a successful treatment for control of phosphate in dialysis patients.

Currently a visiting Professor at Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Barry Murrer

Co-Founder. Barry brings long experience of industrial R and D and bringing new technologies to market.

David Moore

David is an Investment Manager with QUBIS Ltd, the early stage investment fund responsible for the commercialisation of technology from The Queen’s University of Belfast.

He has been involved in high-growth venture capital backed businesses for over 20 years. His experience covers both a wide range of technology sectors and various stages of company growth from incorporation through to exit. He currently holds Non-Executive Board positions with a number of the QUBIS Ltd spin-out ventures.

Prior to joining QUBIS Ltd, David worked with a regional development agency specialising in high growth export orientated technology businesses and spent a period of time within the defence industry.

David has a primary degree in Engineering, a Masters degree in Business Strategy and a professional finance qualification.

David Moore

Head of Spin Outs & Investments, QUBIS Ltd.

David James

BSc MBA CEng FIET MIoD

Dave brings substantial business expertise and wide project and general management experience. He has a passion for team working, high expectations and superior performance. A co-founder, Dave serves as Chairman.

Other current/past roles

Creative Solutions Space Ltd: Managing Director

L-3 National Security Solutions: Group Senior Vice President

L-3 ASA: President and CEO

David James

Co-Founder. Dave brings business expertise and a passion for business performance.

Porous Liquid Technologies in Action

CO2 capture

Carbon capture is one of the great technical challenges of our age. Step changes in current technologies are needed both to reduce CO2 emissions and also to efficiently separate CO2 from valuable fuel sources such as natural gas and biogas. Porous liquids have superior properties to the liquid absorbents used in current technologies and can also reduce the overall process cost and make CO2 capture affordable

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Porous Liquid Technologies in Action

Energy from waste

Biogas, generated from agricultural waste, is a valuable, growing source of methane, which can provide electricity for homes and fuel for cars. However, biogas also contains large amounts of CO2 and some H2S and often these impurities need to be removed before use. The best current methods for this separation are based on amine solvents, but these suffer from high running costs. Porous liquids can selectively dissolve large amounts of CO2 and H2S and they are more energy efficient than amine technology, thereby reducing the operating costs substantially. Being liquids, they are also drop-in alternatives to amine solvents, thus avoiding expensive retrofitting of plant.

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Porous Liquid Technologies in Action

Hydrocarbon separations

Porous solids have been widely investigated for hydrocarbon separations, particularly for ethane/ethene and propane/propene in the petrochemical industry. Currently these gases are separated by cryogenic distillation with associated high energy costs. Porous solids can have good selectivity (up to 50 for ethene over ethane) and adsorption high capacity at ambient temperature (up to 8 mmol/g), but there are as yet few commercial applications. We can formulate such solids into porous liquids thus greatly lowering energy costs for continuous, liquid separations.

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Porous Liquid Technologies in Action

Noble gas capture

Xenon has important practical uses but it is a very minor component in air (0.087%) – there is approximately one bucket-full of xenon in a space the size of the Royal Albert Hall. This rare gas is thus difficult to capture: it is an expensive by-product of air distillation. Porous liquids offer a solution for capturing and purifying this valuable resource by separating it from abundant but contaminated nuclear reprocessing gases. Direct capture of xenon from air may also be possible by designing porous liquids that are perfect hosts for this gas. Porous liquids promise enhanced ease of operation at lower cost. We have also developed materials that can capture the radioactive pollutant gas radon very effectively, suggesting applications in environmental protection and monitoring.

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Getting in touch

We will help you solve to your company’s problems and realise new opportunities using our team’s expertise in porous liquids and related materials combined with our industry knowledge and commercial experience. We provide solution-focused consulting, research and development and technology licensing.

Learn More

Contact

Please get in touch we’d be delighted to help you.