Fuels and chemicals from biomass


This research involves investigating the production of fuels and chemicals from biomass through novel processing routes that have minimal environmental impact.


Dr Alejandro Montoya, Professor Andrew Harris

Research Location

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Program Type



In the era of peak oil and rising greenhouse gas emissions, the world needs renewable fuels and chemicals.In particular, we are investigating the use of hot compressed and supercritical water as a means of upgrading oxygen-containing organics, such as biomass, by preferential removal of oxygen by decarboxylation to yield useful oils and chemicals. Our projects range from fundamental studies of the chemical reaction mechanisms that control the nature of the products, through laboratory experiments to identify products and kinetics across a wide range of conditions, to integrated process design and pilot scale testing in a continuous supercritical reactor.

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Renewable energy; sustainable production; biofuels; biorefinery; hydrothermal upgrading

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 373

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