School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

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Podcast on recovery of valuable materials from waste

23/03/2017


Dr Kevin Morgan recently took part in a Podcast interview with The Conversation UK about the work led by Dr Gary Sheldrake as part of the ReNEW project.

Dr Kevin Morgan recently took part in a Podcast interview with The Conversation UK about the work led by Dr Gary Sheldrake as part of the ReNEW project, a QUB led network of 11 partner organisations funded by Europe (Interreg IVB NWE) to promote recovery of valuable materials from waste. Traditionally wood biomass (bark, twigs, branches, off-cuts, sawdust) has low or partial valorisation as low-grade fuels and mulch or is disposed by burning or rotting at the site of operation.  Cork is a wood which is found to be high in suberin content. In fact it is this characteristic which made cork an attractive material for the wine industry. This characteristic as makes it resistant to biodegrading, and so cork is not suitable for composting meaning it would typically end up in landfill. The work at QUB focused on the valorisation/upcycling of wood biomass, including cork, to value added chemicals such as biofuels, bioplastics, surfactants, flavours, fragrances and pharmaceutical additives. This work is continuing as part of the PhD study of Christopher McCallum and future work is planned as part of QUB’s recently launched Sustainable Energy Research Centre.

You can listen to the Podcast here.

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