The bioenergy research projects were presented as a group in one single session. You can download a PDF of the combined presentations.


South African sugarcane for bioenergy: an optimisation model of the supply chain

Student: Florent Delval
Supervisor(s): Dr Miao Guo (Department ofChemical Engineering), Dr Koen Van Dam (Department of Chemical Engineering), Professor Nilay Shah (Department of Chemical Engineering)
Poster: #26 Download PDF

South African primary energy mix is currently dominated by conventional energies. The government has set ambitious plans to reduce the country’s massive emissions and its dependency to energy imports, increasing the share of renewable energy in its primary mix to 42%. In addition to environmental measures, the government intends to increase rural electrification and reduce the unemployment rate. The South African sugar industry could be developed to address these issues: increasing the capacity of sugar production to create employment and producing bioenergy with bagasse and residues to generate renewable electricity. This project analyses and optimises supply chains to achieve these objectives while securing the sugar production.

Lignocelllosic biomass pretreatment with Ionic Liquids

Student: Leticia Paulina Arteaga Zuñiga
Supervisor(s): Dr Jason Hallett (Department of Chemical Engineering), Dr Niall MacDowell (Centre for Environmental Policy)
Poster: #27 Download PDF

Lignocelllosic biomass is the most abundant plant resource on the planet; it is therefore available in high quantities and at a low cost. This type of biomass is difficult to pre-treat due to its structural composition. This project presents a model for the pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass to increase the access to the main biopolymers while maintaining their structural integrity. The Ionosolv process has a high potential for optimisation and energy integration that would lead to this being an attractive alternative for industrial scale biomass pre-treatment.

Life Cycle Assessment of Protected Agriculture in Arid Regions

Student: Lizzie German
Supervisor(s): Dr Anna Korre (Department of Earth Science and Engineering)
#28 Download PDF

Food security is a pressing issue for many countries. However, agricultural systems consume valuable resources and can impact significantly on the environment. The aim of this project was to develop a life cycle assessment model to quantify the resource requirements and environmental burden of protected agriculture in arid regions. This allowed an investigation into how environmental impacts could be minimised, and whether protected agriculture is a viable method for achieving food security in such regions.

Global Atmospheric Emissions From Waste Disposal: The Role of Energy From Waste

Student: Loic Cerulus
Supervisor(s): Dr Niall Mac Dowell (Centre for Environmental Policy), Professor Christopher Cheeseman (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Poster: #29 Download PDF

Global population growth this century is inevitable and urbanisation is expected, in line with global economic development. As a result the waste generated will increase. The current waste management strategies rely on waste disposal in dumps and landfill facilities. The GHG emissions associated with the waste sector currently account for 3-4% of the global GHG emissions. In order to minimise the future environmental impact; recycling, composting and waste to energy will play an important role, reducing the quantity of waste attaining final disposal. The aim of the project is to quantify the environmental benefits of such an integrated waste management strategy, highlighting the importance of waste to energy technologies.

Sustainability assessment of rice straw utilisation for energy purposes in the Philippines: Case study of Los Banos, Laguna

Student: Noura Ouazzani Touhami
Supervisor(s): Professor Nilay Shah (Department of Chemical Engineering), Dr Miao Guo (Department of Chemical Engineering), Dr Frank Rosillo-Calle (Centre for Environmental Policy)
Poster: #30 Download PDF

The Philippines constitute a good candidate for biomass energy development as it has almost no fossil fuel resources but a significant biomass feedstock potential. Among the large amount of agricultural residues available in this country, more than 10 million tonnes of rice straw produced every year are disposed of by open-burning in the field, which is very detrimental to air quality and human health . This project, using life cycle thinking, aims to answer the question: What alternative uses could be made of rice straw in order to reduce the environmental footprint and enhance the sustainable socio-economic development of the region of Los Banos in the Philippines?

Supply Chain optimisation of the nipa palm industry in South East Asia

Student: Remy Nguyen
Supervisor(s):  Professor Nilay Shah (Department of Chemical Engineering), Dr Miao Guo (Department of Chemical Engineering)
Poster: #31 Download PDF

Biomass power plants and biofuels facilities are growing in number. Indeed, bioenergy resources appear to be abundant, easy to access and possibly cheap. It stands as one of the most relevant candidates among renewable energy sources to help to transition from an oil-dominated situation to a more sustainable society. This thesis undertakes a spatially-explicit bioenergy supply chain optimisation in South East Asia in order to find the optimal distribution of bioenergy facilities according to economic and environmental criteria. The crop highlighted is the Nipa palm, a promising candidate among energy crops.

A techno-economic comparison between biomass direct combustion and gasification for Combined Heat and Power installations

Student: Rita Davalli
Supervisor(s): Dr Ausilio Bauen (Centre for Environmental Policy), Andy Hadland (Ameresco), Adrien Lebrun (Ameresco)
Poster: #32 Download PDF

Combined Heat and Power installations and biomass as a renewable source are both expected to play a significant role in meeting the UK emissions reduction goals. There are several biomass CHP plants operational in the UK; most of these rely on direct combustion as a technology but very few on biomass gasification. The aim of the thesis project is to determine which factors affect the feasibility of the two technologies and make them mutually competitive. Two industrial sites and their electricity and heat demand were provided by the energy service company Ameresco. A model was developed to determine the technical performance and the economic convenience of each CHP installation.