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Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Dr Russell Taylor, MChem, PhD

Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42152
Room number: CG120L

(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.

Research in the group is focussed on discovering new processes for the manufacture of chemicals and fuels from both fossil and biomass derived feedstocks. In April 2018, Russell commenced a prestigous EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowship to develop new manufacturing processes for more sustainable commodity chemicals. To date the group consists of 5 PhD students, 1 postdcotoral researcher and 2 MChem students. 

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)


(13) Framework Effects on Activation and Functionalisation of Methane in Zinc-Exchanged Zeolites

Meera A. Shah, Samuel Raynes, David C. Apperley and Russell A. Taylor*

ChemPhysChem, 2019, manuscript accepted


(12) Direct conversion of methane to methanol with zeolites: towards understanding the role of extra-framework d-block metal and zeolite framework type

Samuel Raynes, Meera A. Shah and Russell A. Taylor*

Dalton Trans., 2019, 48, 10364–10384

DOI: 10.1039/c9dt00922a!divAbstract


 (11) Cp*Fe(Me2PCH2CH2PMe2)(CHO): Hydride shuttle reactivity of a thermally stable formyl complex

Joshua S.Sapsford, Sarah J.Gates, Laurence R.Doyle, Russell A.Taylor, SilviaDíez-González*, Andrew E.Ashley*

Inorganica Chimica Acta, 2019, 488, 201–207

DOI: 10.1016/j.ica.2019.01.022


(10) Rapid transfer hydrogenation of acetophenone using ruthenium catalysts bearing commercially available and readily accessible nitrogen and phosphorous donor ligands

Drew J. Braden, Renan Cariou, John W. Shabaker, Russell A. Taylor*

Applied Catalysis A, General, 2019, 570, 367–375

DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2018.11.031


 (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


(2) WO2015193185


Inventors: Berian John Daniel, John Glenn Sunley, Russell Alan Taylor, Gareth Gerald Armitage

Applicant: BP Chemicals Limited

Date filed: June 12, 2015

Research Groups

Department of Chemistry

  • Catalysis and Sustainable Chemical Processes

Research Interests

  • Alkane Upgrading
  • Biomass Conversion
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Multifunctional Materials
  • Surface Organometallic Chemistry


Journal Article

Indicators of Esteem

  • Member of EPSRC Associate Peer Review College:
  • Treasurer of British Zeolite Association:

Selected Grants

  • 2018: New Manufacturing Processes for More Sustainable Commodity Chemicals (£877146.20 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)