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Department of Chemistry

Dr Russell Taylor, MChem, PhD

Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42152

(email at


Russell obtained his MChem degree from the University of Oxford in 2002. His Part II project was conducted under the supervision of Professor Tony Downs working on GaN MOCVD precursors. Immediately afterwards, he spent a year working as an Assistant Forensic Toxicologist at the Forensic Science Service. In 2003 he embarked on an industrially funded (CASE) PhD at Imperial College London (sponsored by BP) under the supervision of Dr. George Britovsek. Russell’s PhD focussed on platinum mediated, homogeneous methane oxidation. After spending a year in the group of Professor Vernon Gibson as a Research Associate, Russell joined BP in 2008 working at the R&D centre at the BP Chemicals manufacturing site in Hull. His research at BP initially focussed on homogeneous catalysis before he moved into the Acetyls Research Group (ARG) and began working on the recently announced syngas to acetic acid process (SaaBreTM). Within ARG Russell worked on heterogeneous catalyst characterisation and post-mortem analysis, by-product analysis, and product quality and cleanup. In September 2015, Russell began his independent research career, taking up a position as Lecturer in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry at Durham University.

Current Research Interests

The overarching aim of research in the group is the development of new catalytic materials and catalytic processes. Experimental work spans homogeneous and heterogeneous boundaries, utilising multifunctional materials and exploiting cascade and multistep reactions to achieve our goals. Current activities within the group focus on:

  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Novel zeolite synthesis
  • Understanding of industrial catalysts
  • Alkane upgrading
  • Biomass conversion
  • Multifunctional materials
  • Surface organometallic chemistry


Refereed Full Papers (* denotes corresponding author)
(9) Oxygen Insertion into Metal Carbon Bonds: Formation of Methylperoxo Pd(II) and Pt(II) Complexes via Photogenerated Dinuclear Intermediates
Allan R. Petersen, Russell A. Taylor, Inmaculada Vicente-Hernández, Philip R. Mallender, Harriet Olley, Andrew J. P. White, and George J. P. Britovsek.*
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014, 136 (40), 14089–14099
DOI: 10.1021/ja5055143
(8) Light-Driven Methyl Exchange Reactions in Square Planar Palladium(II) and Platinum(II) Complexes
Allan R. Petersen, Russell A. Taylor, Inmaculada Vicente-Hernández, Jasmin Heinzer, Andrew J. P. White, and George J. P. Britovsek.*
Organometallics, 2014, 33 (6),1453–1461
DOI: 10.1021/om500048t
(7) Salt metathesis for the synthesis of M–Al and M–H–Al bonds
Ian M. Riddlestone, Juan Urbano, Nicholas Phillips, Michael J. Kelly, Dragoslav Vidovic, Joshua I. Bates, Russell Taylor Simon Aldridge.*
Dalton Transactions, 2013, 42, 249-258
DOI: 10.1039/C2DT31974H
(6) σ-Alane Complexes of Chromium, Tungsten, and Manganese
Ian M. Riddlestone, Siân Edmonds, Paul A. Kaufman, Juan Urbano, Joshua I. Bates, Michael J. Kelly, Amber L. Thompson, Russell Taylor, Simon Aldridge.*
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012, 134 (5), 2551–2554
DOI: 10.1021/ja2119892
(5) First metal complexes of 6,6'-dihydroxy-2,2'-bipyridine: from molecular wires to applications in carbonylation catalysis
Christopher M. Conifer, Russell A. Taylor, David J. Law, Glenn J. Sunley, Andrew J. P. White, George J. P. Britovsek.*
Dalton Transactions 2011, 40(5), 1031-1033.
DOI: 10.1039/C0DT01526A
(4) Towards photocatalytic alkane oxidation: the insertion of dioxygen into a platinum(II)-methyl bond
Russell A. Taylor, David J. Law, Glenn J. Sunley, Andrew J. P. White, George J. P. Britovsek.*
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2009, 48(32), 5900-5903 [HOT PAPER]
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200806187
(3) Hydrogen bonding directs the H2O2 oxidation of platinum(II) to a cis-dihydroxo platinum(IV) complex
Russell A. Taylor, David J. Law, Glenn J. Sunley, Andrew J. P. White, George J. P. Britovsek.*
Chemical Communications 2008, (24), 2800-2802
DOI: 10.1039/B803370F
(2) Protonation of Platinum(II) Dialkyl Complexes Containing Ligands with Proximate H-Bonding Substituents.
George J. P. Britovsek,* Russell A. Taylor, Glenn J. Sunley, David J. Law, Andrew J. P. White.
Organometallics 2006, 25 (8), 2074-2079
DOI: 10.1021/om060036l
(1) Crystal Structures of Tris(tert-butyl)boron, -aluminum, -gallium, and -indium: Nonplanarity of the AlC3 Skeleton and Evidence of Inter- and Intramolecular "Agostic" or Hyperconjugative Interactions.
Andrew R. Cowley, Anthony J. Downs,* Sarah Marchant, Victoria A. Macrae, Russell A. Taylor, Simon Parsons.
Organometallics, 2005, 24(23), 5702-5709
DOI: 10.1021/om050572y
(1) US Patent Application (62/108,733)
Inventors: Russell Alan Taylor, Renan Cariou and John Shabaker
Applicant: BP International
Date filed: January 28, 2015