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New Energies

We have a proven track record of research and development in the production of energy and materials from waste. Our research is currently focused on waste plastics, bioenergy, biofuels and biomaterials production. It explores new commercial models within the world's energy transition.

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Faculty of Science and Engineering
Sharif Zein
Reader in Biorefinery Processes and Reaction Engineering

The Challenge

Society generates huge quantities of waste, most of which is not processed in a sustainable way. Our interdisciplinary team aims to deliver innovation in the production of new energies from waste, bringing both environmental and economic profits.

The Approach

We are working on a combination of basic science and application-driven research in chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering.

We pursue new developments in catalysis for waste transformation, while designing and utilising more efficient technologies, reactors with continuous flow methodology, and entrenching new process intensification models.

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OUR AIMS

  • to efficiently convert waste, the disposal of which is expensive, into a value stream, including energy and chemical feedstock
  • to develop integrated refinery concepts to obtain high-value materials from waste
  • to develop innovative wastewater treatment using different waste materials and at a lower cost

Projects

Cooling Towers

THYME Project: Teesside, Hull and York. Mobilising Bioeconomy Knowledge Exchange

The THYME project aims to build on regional assets to drive increased productivity of companies operating in the bioeconomy across Yorkshire, Humberside and the Tees Valley

Find out more
plastics-collaboratory

Creative Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminating Plastics Waste

Responding creatively to the challenge of creating new circular economy approaches to eliminating future plastic waste.

Field

Enhancing environmental resilience & energy security by developing efficient novel methods for converting palm oil waste to biodiesel

This investigation explores biodiesel synthesis using Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) as a feedstock. This process results in a more than 90% yield of biodiesel. This process is a potential route to making economic use of this difficult feedstock.

 

View all projects

THYME Project: Teesside, Hull and York. Mobilising Bioeconomy Knowledge Exchange

The THYME project aims to build on regional assets to drive increased productivity of companies operating in the bioeconomy across Yorkshire, Humberside and the Tees Valley. Find out more.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Creative Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminating Plastics Waste

Responding creatively to the challenge of creating new circular economy approaches to eliminating future plastic waste.

UKRI.

Enhancing environmental resilience & energy security by developing efficient novel methods for converting palm oil waste to biodiesel

This investigation explores biodiesel synthesis using Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) as a feedstock. This process results in a more than 90% yield of biodiesel. This process is a potential route to making economic use of this difficult feedstock.

Newton Fund British Council. 

Evaluation of the thermo-mechanical pulping of biomass to facilitate release of fermentable sugars for advanced biofuel production

Pre-treatment of biomass is a key step in authenticating the commercial production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass. The aim of this study is to investigate pre-treatment technologies to reduce processing costs optimise bioethanol production.

BBSRC NIBB.

Evaluation of the thermo-mechanical pulping of biomass to facilitate release of fermentable sugars for advanced biofuel production

Pre-treatment of biomass is a key step in authenticating the commercial production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass. This aim of this study was to investigate pre-treatment technologies to reduce processing costs optimise bioethanol production.

Maximizing the Real Value of Lignin (MaRVeL)

BBSRC.

Members

Outputs and publications

Zein S H, Asenso B, Skoulou V K, 'Nanocarbons from Acid pre-treated Waste Coffee Grounds using Microwave Radiation', Materials Letter, 193, pp 46–49 (2017)

Demirhan H, Fauzi A, Skoulou V K, Haywood S H, Zein S H, 'Wheat Straw Bio-refining. Part I: Optimisation of the Microwave Radiation Process with Sulphuric Acid Pre-treatment', Current Microwave Chemistry, 4:3, pp 205-218 (2017)

Festus O, Skoulou V K, Zein S H, 'Wheat straw bio-refining. Part II: Optimisation of the microwave radiation with sulphuric acid pre-treatment and its enzymatic hydrolysis for fermentable sugars', Current Microwave Chemistry, 4:4, pp 306-316 (2017)

Zhu Z, Haywood S H, Touhami D, Zein S H, Balan W S, Janaun J, 'Characterisation of rice husk-based catalyst prepared via conventional and microwave carbonisation', Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 5:3, pp 2388-2394 (2017)

Lancefield C S, Rashid G M M, Bouxin F, Wasaka A, Tu W-C, Hallett J, Zein S, Rodríguez J, Jackson S D, Westwood N J, Bugg T D H, 'An Investigation of the Chemocatalytic and Biocatalytic Valorisation of a Range of Different Lignin Preparations: the Importance of β-O-4 Content', ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 4, pp 6921−6930 (2016)

Research Students

Elis Davies

Biodiesel from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) using microwave heating

Mohammed Abdulsattar

Bioethanol from waste biomass

Hassan Alabdrabalameer

Thermochemical treatment of biomass

Osman Yansaneh

Generation of power and petrochemical products using wastes

Inspired?

Our research impacts the world. Come and join us.

Be part of a vibrant research community at the University of Hull.

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