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Designing and developing high performance products



*Corresponding author

  1. Johnson Matthey Technology Centre,

Blounts Court, Sonning Common,

Reading, RG4 9NH, United Kingdom

  1. Johnson Matthey Plc, Orchard Road, Royston,

Hertfordshire, SG8 5HE, United Kingdom


Modelling is one of three core competencies, together with the ability to control materials at the atomic scale, and to characterise materials using state of the art techniques, that form a strategy to design and develop high performance, more resource efficient products. This article summarises an approach to developing new, high performance materials and other products with examples drawn from experience both at Johnson Matthey Plc and elsewhere in recent years.


In today’s world, new approaches are needed to innovate new products. A three-part strategy based on modelling (1), a deep understanding of materials science (2) and the use of advanced characterisation techniques (3) is presented here as key to successful product design. Computational chemistry, kinetic reaction engineering and process simulation are used to drive chemical engineering, materials and catalyst design. Applications of zeolites and nanoparticles are examples where innovative work has carried through from the laboratory to production scale. Challenges in balancing cost, complexity and throughput can be overcome by implementing an “inspiration approach” to characterisation techniques and hence drive forward innovation in materials development.


Modelling principles

Modelling can encompass many techniques from models based on robust physical principles to those based on empirical and statistical parameter fitting. The use of physical parameter models is much more versatile than empirical fitting models as it allows the prediction of properties over a much greater parameter space ...

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