go to top scroll for more


Projects: Custom Search
Reference Number EP/Y02768X/1
Title MICROALGAESAF - Biofuels production through microalgae biomass pyrolysis and bio-oil upgrading
Status Started
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources (Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 60%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr JK Bartley
No email address given
Cardiff University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 13 October 2023
End Date 12 October 2025
Duration 24 months
Total Grant Value £187,096
Industrial Sectors
Region Wales
Programme UKRI MSCA
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr JK Bartley , Chemistry, Cardiff University (100.000%)
Web Site
Abstract This project aims to develop sustainable catalysts to produce biofuels for aviation and transportation from microalgae biomass by upgrading the bio-oil obtained from pyrolysis using hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) and to assess the environmental impact of the entire process. Lipid-derived biofuels have a higher energy density than other biofuels and could more easily provide renewable energy equivalent to conventional gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Pyrolysis and bio-oil upgrading are promising processes to produce biofuels from microalgal biomass that are commutable with current engines. Novel catalytic processes will be tested using: (1) biochar that acts as energy susceptor in microwave-assisted pyrolysis to increase the bio-oil fraction and (2) molybdates as low cost alternatives to PGM HDO catalysts to convert oxygenated compounds in bio-oil to hydrocarbons in the presence of hydrogen. Aviation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, hence the need to transition from fossil fuels to renewable fuels to meet net-zero targets by 2030. To support the study of new technologies with quantitative data on a larger scale, life cycle assessment (LCA) will be conducted. This project will be carried out at Cardiff University with Dr. Jonathan K. Bartley as supervisor, who is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI), School of Chemistry. Aiming to become an independent researcher, the candidate has set three objectives as a fellow: (1) practical skills training, (2) improving supervision skills, and (3) applying for grant funding. To reach the first goal, the researcher will have access to a variety of equipment training at CCI, to learn new techniques and develop skills in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. In addition, the candidate will attend a LCA course to later provide a workshop. Lastly, the researcher will be encouraged to support and co-supervise students and plans to apply for R&I funding by Horizon Europe
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 12/07/23