+44 (0)131 451 4719
Room NM2
John Coulson Building
Heriot-Watt University
Mark Keane

Work in our laboratory is directed at catalyst development for the cleaner synthesis of high value chemicals. Examples of new generation catalysts under investigation include:

(i) supported gold and silver catalysts;
(ii) Mo carbides and nitrides;
(iii) structured carbon (nano-fibre/tube) supported metals;
(iv) mixed (lanthanide/transition) metals.

The ultimate research goal is the fundamental understanding of the role of catalyst structure in determining catalytic properties, which informs the fabrication of novel reactive solids for use in sustainable processing, notably selective hydrogenation. We also examine catalysts for the non-destructive treatment (with recovery/recycle) of pollutants, with a particular focus on halogenated toxins. All our work involves comprehensive kinetic analysis and modelling with a coupling of catalyst testing and characterisation to facilitate process optimisation. Other research themes deal with materials (synthetic and biological) development for water treatment, coupled enzyme/supported metals, the catalytic growth of nano-structured carbons and the catalytic transformation of waste polymers into fuel oil.


Selected publications

1. M.A. KEANE, “Supported Transition Metal Catalysts for Hydrodechlorination
Reactions”, ChemCatChem, 3, 2011, 800-821.

2. F. CARDENAS-LIZANA, S. GOMEZ-QUERO, N. PERRET, L. KIWI-MINSKER, & M.A. KEANE, “β-Molybdenum Nitride: Synthesis Mechanism and Catalytic Response in the Gas Phase Hydrogenation of p-Chloronitrobenzene”, Catalysis Science & Technology, 1 (2011) 794-801.

3. M. MURDOCH, G.I.N. WATERHOUSE, M.A. NADEEM, J.B. METSON, M.A. KEANE, R.F. HOWE, J. LLORCA, H. IDRISS, “Photocatalytic hydrogen production from ethanol over Au/TiO2 anatase and rutile nanoparticles. Effect of Au loading and particle size”, Nature Chemistry, 3 (2011) 489-492.

4. S. GOMEZ-QUERO, F. CARDENAS-LIZANA, & M.A. KEANE, “Liquid Phase Catalytic Hydrodechlorination of 2,4 Dichlorophenol over Pd/Al2O3: Batch vs. Continuous Operation”, Chemical Engineering Journal, 166 (2011) 1044-1051.

5. F. CARDENAS-LIZANA, Z.M. DE PEDRO, S. GOMEZ-QUERO & M.A. KEANE, “Gas Phase Hydrogenation of Nitroarenes: A Comparison of the Catalytic Action of Titania Supported Gold and Silver”. Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, 326, 2010, 48-54.

6. S. GOMEZ-QUERO, F. CARDENAS-LIZANA & M.A. KEANE, “Solvent Effects in the Hydrodechlorination of 2,4-Dichlorophenol over Pd/Al2O3”, AIChE Journal, 56, 2010, 756-767.

7. F. CARDENAS-LIZANA, S. GOMEZ-QUERO, H. IDRISS & M.A. KEANE, “Gold Particle Size Effects in the Gas Phase Hydrogenation of m-Dinitrobenzene over Au/TiO2”. Journal of Catalysis, 268, 2009, 223-234.

8. M.A. KEANE, “Catalytic Transformation of Waste Polymers into Fuel Oil”. ChemSusChem., 2, 2009, 207-214.


2006 to date: Professor, Chemical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University

2000–2005: Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of Kentucky (USA)

1995–2000: Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering, University of Leeds (UK)

1992–1995: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Guelph (Canada)

1989–1992: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Glasgow (UK)

1988–1989: Staff Scientist, PALL Corp., New York (USA)

1984–1988: PhD, National University of Ireland