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Materials Research Institute



“Unconventional routes for Biomass upgrade using light, catalysis, and microwaves”

Image: Jose Lopez-Sanchez
Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Date: 1 March 2017   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Prof Jose Antonio Lopez-Sanchez
“Unconventional routes for Biomass upgrade using light, catalysis, and microwaves”

Abstract: The chemistry and processes involved in transforming biomass offer many challenges that continuously tantalise scientists in the search of more efficient and creative ways to minimising the energy required and overall environmental footprint. We have seen the consolidation of biotechnology as a fundamental tool in biomass transformations, particularly due to the mild conditions typically required by enzymes and microorganisms. Thermochemical transformation technologies offer many advantages over biotransformations, however, the high energetic requirements is still a draw-back. The utilisation of alternative energy vectors and stimuli to transform biomass, such as in the utilisation of microwave technology, sonochemistry or mechanochemistry offer some promise. However, could we possibly carry out demanding biomass transformations at very mild conditions without microorganisms or enzymes? Is the utilisation of catalysis in microwave reactors a revolutionary tool within the biorefinery toolbox or just faster heating?

Location:  People's Palace, PP1
Contact:  Ana Sobrido
Telephone:  020 7882 5582