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‌Sustainable Chemical Feedstocks


EPSRC 2013-2017

Research Team

Dr Vitaly Budarin, Dr Alice Fan, Professor James Clark

External Collaborators

University of Liverpool (high throughput screening, functional polymers, catalysis); Stockholm Environment Institute (York) (LCA)


This is a joint project between University of York and Liverpool. The overarching aim of this project is to develop routes for the production of platform chemicals and bio-surfactants from waste biomass, integrating state of the art technologies for biomass activation, in-situ catalysis (using new functional materials) and separation in one-pot processes. We will use high throughput screening to help determine optimum conditions.

Main Objectives

  • Development of supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) and microwave (MW) techniques for the production of high-grade fractions of bio-oils, suitable for conversion to surfactants from waste biomass.
  • Discovery of new functional materials for biomass transformation, and in particular for 1) separation of components of bio-oils 2) the depolymerisation of biomass components 3) the synthesis of sugar-derived platform chemicals and 4) for one pot synthesis of surfactants from cellulose.
  • Integration of scCO2 and MW technologies with catalytic transformation to products.

 *UY: University of York; UL: University of Liverpool


The project is funded in the UK through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Dr Mark Gronnow working with biomass