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Richard Bourne

Member of the Process Research and Development group

Contact details

Room: 1.15
Tel: +44 (0)113 3436547


Continuous Processing
Sustainable Chemistry
Automation & Optimisation
Industrial Process Development

Photograph of Richard Bourne

Research interests

Development of new sustainable processes with focus on continuous flow routes to pharmaceutical and fine chemical products. Our group is based within the Institute of Process Research and Development (IPRD).

I am particularly interested in the use of automated flow systems combining online analysis, feedback control and evolutionary algorithms to provide process understanding and optimisation. This particularly interdisciplinary research at the interface between Chemistry and Chemical Engineering aims to develop processes at laboratory, pilot plant and manufacturing scales.

Research is currently supported by the Leeds Transformation Fund and AstraZeneca UK Ltd.


Doherty S, Knight JG, Backhouse T, Abood E, Alshaikh H, Fairlamb IJS, Bourne RA, Chamberlain TW, Stones R Highly efficient aqueous phase chemoselective hydrogenation of alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehydes catalysed by phosphine-decorated polymer immobilized IL-stabilized PdNPs GREEN CHEMISTRY 19 1635-1641, 2017

Hone C, Holmes N, Akien G, Bourne RA, Muller FL Rapid multistep kinetic model generation from transient flow data Reaction chemistry&engineering -, 2016
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Doherty S, Knight JG, Carroll MA, Clemmet AR, Ellison JR, Backhouse T, Holmes N, Thompson LA, Bourne RA Efficient and selective oxidation of sulfides in batch and continuous flow using styrene-based polymer immobilised ionic liquid phase supported peroxotungstates RSC Advances 6 73118-73131, 2016
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Holmes N, Akien GR, Savage RJD, Stanetty C, Baxendale IR, Blacker AJ, Taylor BA, Woodward RL, Meadows RE, Bourne RA Online quantitative mass spectrometry for the rapid adaptive optimisation of automated flow reactors REACTION CHEMISTRY&ENGINEERING 1 96-100, 2016

Blacker AJ, Breen JR, Bourne RA, Hone CA The growing impact of continuous flow methods on the twelve principles of green chemistry In RSC Green Chemistry , 2016
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Holmes N, Akien GR, Blacker AJ, Woodward RL, Meadows RE, Bourne RA Self-optimisation of the final stage in the synthesis of EGFR kinase inhibitor AZD9291 using an automated flow reactor REACTION CHEMISTRY&ENGINEERING 1 366-371, 2016

Earley JH, Bourne RA, Watson MJ, Poliakoff M Continuous catalytic upgrading of ethanol to n-butanol and>C-4 products over Cu/CeO2 catalysts in supercritical CO2 Green Chemistry 17 3018-3025, 2015
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Sherborne GJ, Chapman MR, Blacker AJ, Bourne RA, Chamberlain TW, Crossley BD, Lucas SJ, Mcgowan PC, Newton MA, Screen TEO, Thompson P, Willans CE, Nguyen BN Activation and deactivation of a robust immobilized Cp*Ir-transfer hydrogenation catalyst: A multielement in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy study Journal of the American Chemical Society 137 4151-4157, 2015
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Hone CA, Bourne RA, Muller FL Continuous-flow reactors for the rapid evolution and validation of kinetic motifs Chimica Oggi/Chemistry Today 33 14-19, 2015
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Thompson PBJ, Nguyen BN, Nicholls R, Bourne RA, Brazier JB, Lovelock KRJ, Brown SD, Wermeille D, Bikondoa O, Lucas CA, Hase TPA, Newton MA X-ray spectroscopy for chemistry in the 2-4 keV energy regime at the XMaS beamline: Ionic liquids, Rh and Pd catalysts in gas and liquid environments, and Cl contamination inγ-Al2O3 Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 22 1426-1439, 2015
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Skilton RA, Bourne RA, Amara Z, Horvath R, Jin J, Scully MJ, Streng E, Tang SLY, Summers PA, Wang J, Perez E, Asfaw N, Aydos GLP, Dupont J, Comak G, George MW, Poliakoff M Remote-controlled experiments with cloud chemistry Nature Chemistry 7 1-5, 2015
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Chamberlain TW, Earley JH, Anderson DP, Khlobystov AN, Bourne RA Catalytic nanoreactors in continuous flow: hydrogenation inside single-walled carbon nanotubes using supercritical CO2. Chemical Communications -, 2014
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Skilton RA, Parrott AJ, George MW, Poliakoff M, Bourne RA Real-Time Feedback Control Using Online Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR FT-IR) Spectroscopy for Continuous Flow Optimization and Process Knowledge. Applied Spectroscopy 67 1127-1131, 2013
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Masika E, Bourne RA, Chamberlain TW, Mokaya R Supercritical CO2 mediated incorporation of Pd onto templated carbons: a route to optimizing the Pd particle size and hydrogen uptake density. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 5 5639-5647, 2013
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Hall JFB, Bourne RA, Han X, Earley JH, Poliakoff M, George MW Synthesis of antimalarial trioxanes via continuous photo-oxidation with1O2in supercritical CO2 Green Chemistry 15 177-180, 2013
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Jumbam DN, Skilton RA, Parrott AJ, Bourne RA, Poliakoff M The effect of self-optimisation targets on the methylation of alcohols using dimethyl carbonate in supercritical CO2 Journal of Flow Chemistry 2 24-27, 2012
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Tenorio MJ, Pando C, Renuncio JAR, Stevens JG, Bourne RA, Poliakoff M, Cabanas A Adsorption of Pd(hfac)(2) on mesoporous silica SBA-15 using supercritical CO2 and its role in the performance of Pd-SiO2 catalyst JOURNAL OF SUPERCRITICAL FLUIDS 69 21-28, 2012

Hall JF, Han X, Poliakoff M, Bourne RA, George MW Maximising the efficiency of continuous photo-oxidation with singlet oxygen in supercritical CO2 by use of fluorous biphasic catalysis. Chem Commun (Camb) 48 3073-3075, 2012
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Kumar H, Lester E, Kingman S, Bourne R, Avila C, Jones A, Robinson J, Halleck PM, Mathews JP Inducing fractures and increasing cleat apertures in a bituminous coal under isotropic stress via application of microwave energy International Journal of Coal Geology 88 75-82, 2011

Parrott AJ, Bourne RA, Akien GR, Irvine DJ, Poliakoff M Self-optimizing continuous reactions in supercritical carbon dioxide. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 50 3788-3792, 2011

Bourne RA, George MW, Poliakoff M Continuous flow chemistry in supercritical fluids ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 241 , 2011

Bourne RA, Poliakoff M Green chemistry: what is the way forward? MENDELEEV COMMUNICATIONS 21 235-238, 2011

Han X, Bourne RA, Poliakoff M, George MW Immobilised photosensitisers for continuous flow reactions of singlet oxygen in supercritical carbon dioxide CHEMICAL SCIENCE 2 1059-1067, 2011

Bourne RA, Skilton RA, Parrott AJ, Irvine DJ, Poliakoff M Adaptive Process Optimization for Continuous Methylation of Alcohols in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide ORGANIC PROCESS RESEARCH&DEVELOPMENT 15 932-938, 2011

Stevens JG, Gomez P, Bourne RA, Drage TC, George MW, Poliakoff M Could the energy cost of using supercritical fluids be mitigated by using CO2 from carbon capture and storage (CCS)? GREEN CHEMISTRY 13 2727-2733, 2011

Stevens JG, Bourne RA, Twigg MV, Poliakoff M Real-time product switching using a twin catalyst system for the hydrogenation of furfural in supercritical CO2. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 49 8856-8859, 2010

Parrott AJ, Bourne RA, Gooden PN, Bevinakatti HS, Poliakoff M, Irvine DJ The Continuous Acid-Catalysed Etherification of Aliphatic Alcohols Using Stoichiometric Quantities of Dialkyl Carbonates ORGANIC PROCESS RESEARCH&DEVELOPMENT 14 1428-1434, 2010

Gooden PN, Bourne RA, Parrott AJ, Bevinakatti HS, Irvine DJ, Poliakoff M Continuous Acid-Catalyzed Methylations in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: Comparison of Methanol, Dimethyl Ether and Dimethyl Carbonate as Methylating Agents ORGANIC PROCESS RESEARCH&DEVELOPMENT 14 411-416, 2010

Bourne RA, Han X, Poliakoff M, George MW Cleaner continuous photo-oxidation using singlet oxygen in supercritical carbon dioxide. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 48 5322-5325, 2009
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Han X, Bourne RA, Poliakoff M, George MW Strategies for cleaner oxidations using photochemically generated singlet oxygen in supercritical carbon dioxide GREEN CHEMISTRY 11 1787-1792, 2009

Stevens JG, Bourne RA, Poliakoff M The continuous self aldol condensation of propionaldehyde in supercritical carbon dioxide: a highly selective catalytic route to 2-methylpentenal GREEN CHEMISTRY 11 409-416, 2009

Bourne RA, Han X, Chapman AO, Arrowsmith NJ, Kawanami H, Poliakoff M, George MW Homogeneous photochemical oxidation via singlet O2 in supercritical CO2. Chem Commun (Camb) 4457-4459, 2008
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Poliakoff M, Bourne RA Catalytic reactions in supercritical fluids VDI Berichte 105-108, 2008
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Tang SY, Bourne RA, Poliakoff M, Smith RL The 24 Principles of Green Engineering and Green Chemistry: "IMPROVEMENTS PRODUCTIVELY" GREEN CHEMISTRY 10 268-269, 2008

Poliakoff M, Bourne R Conference Report: Bridging chemistry and engineering Green Chemistry 10 1247-1247, 2008

Bourne RA, Stevens JG, Ke J, Poliakoff M Maximising opportunities in supercritical chemistry: the continuous conversion of levulinic acid to gamma-valerolactone in CO(2). Chem Commun (Camb) 4632-4634, 2007
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Hyde JR, Bourne RA, Noda I, Stephenson P, Poliakoff M 2DCOR-GC: an application of the generalized two-dimensional correlation analysis as a route to optimization of continuous flow supercritical fluid reactions. Anal Chem 76 6197-6206, 2004
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