HPC Wales, a £40million project powering the success of Welsh universities by providing access to the most advanced computing technology, is helping an exciting Bangor University research project get off the ground.
Dr Anna Croft of the School of Chemistry is leading a project to examine the potential of ionic liquids, which have been dubbed ‘magic potions for a greener environment’.
With a unique set of useful properties not achievable with any other material, ionic liquids are attracting increasing interest from the science community. They don’t significantly evaporate, can conduct electricity and can dissolve almost anything. This means they can replace some acids and organic solvents and can be used in a wide range of applications from cleaner pharmaceutical production to eco-friendly batteries.
By studying how molecules interact on a microscopic scale, Dr Croft’s team say they will be able to understand how molecules perform on a bulk scale, which will in turn help in the development of ionic liquids and the identification of new opportunities in a wide variety of industrial processes.
Dr Croft said:
“Ionic liquids offer high-potential solutions with significant efficiency improvements in a broad range of applications. From metal and polymer processing to acting as electrolytes in electronic devices, the potential for these liquids to improve a host of processes while helping the environment is incredibly exciting.
“We are delighted to be able to access the fastest supercomputing cluster in Wales to help our research in this area.
“The system we used previously could take up to a month to run a single simulation, whereas with HPC Wales the same simulation takes a matter of hours. Getting results more quickly and efficiently is incredibly beneficial for the research team.
“In addition to access to the computing infrastructure, the technical support on offer from HPC Wales is excellent and any problems we experience are quickly resolved by the expert, supportive team who have supported us throughout the switch to the new system.
“We are very excited about the possibilities of this research, and are now looking to identify industrial partners who can use our collaborative expertise to use ionic liquids in their processes.”