School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science
Due to the constantly increasing global energy demand, the need to produce added-value products from renewable sources is becoming more crucial. Especially the concept of integrated biorefineries, where biomass is converted to fuels, energy and chemicals is of particular importance.
In recent years my research group has developed the integrated biorefinery paradigm through a combination of experimental and computational studies for the co-production of biofuels, and added-value chemicals from biorenewable sources. Production at a range of scales is investigated. An efficient approach towards improving bioprocess performance is the development of fundamental, predictive, dynamic computational models for design, optimisation and scale-up. These models, coupled with holistic, multi-scale, plant-wide simulators can offer valuable insights into the economics and sustainability of complete integrated biorefineries.
Going one step further, we develop new systems-based methodologies for the underlying metabolic processes, to understand cellular metabolism and to maximise productivity. These methodologies can provide insight on the optimal environmental conditions as well as guidelines for genetic manipulation of the microorganisms involved, to maximise production rates and to enhance bioprocess sustainability.