Katie has a particular interest in the thermochemical conversion of biomass and wastes, biorefinery process synthesis and techno-economic evaluation. In particular Katie likes to make techno-economic and environmental assessment data more accessible for the non-expert. Katie has 17 years’ experience in the commercial and academic sectors working on bioenergy and process optimisation.
Katie has significant industrial experience, having worked in the paper industry and as a bioenergy consultant. Since returning to academia Katie has successfully won and completed a number of BBSRC and EPSCRC projects in bioenergy.
Katie is involved in several research consortia and is currently working on a GCRF project working with Stellenbosch University developing a techno-economic model for the evaluation of a paper mill based biorefinery and a DFID project on sustainable energy access for sub-Saharan Africa.
Katie is currently a Topic Group Representative for Conversion within the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Regional Chair for the biomass and wastes special interest group of the Fuel and Energy Research Forum and is a committee member of the IChemE Clean Energy Special Interest Group.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Life Cycle Assessment
Aston University: BEng, Chemical Engineering 2002
Aston University: PhD 2011
- Supergen Bioenergy Hub : Topic Group Representative for Conversion
- Fuel and Energy Research Forum : Regional Chair
- IChemE Clean Energy Special Interest Group : Committee Member
Research Grants (3)
Biorefinery Advisory Model
BBSRC NIBB Proof of Concept $55,000
Project partners Aston Uni, BCU, Croda, ReBio, ZuvaSyntha.
Techno-economics of spent grain biorefinery
BBSRC NIBB IB Catalyst Seed Funding $13,000
Project partners Aston Uni, Exergy, The Austin Company
Process Development and Integration for Sustainable Bio-Jet Fuel Production
Project partners University of Manchester, Aston Uni.
Purification and immobilization of engineered glucose dehydrogenase: a new approach to producing gluconic acid from breadwasteBiotechnology for Biofuels volume
Platform chemicals are essential to industrial processes. Used as starting materials for the manufacture of diverse products, their cheap availability and efficient sourcing are an industrial requirement. Increasing concerns about the depletion of natural resources and growing environmental consciousness have led to a focus on the economics and ecological viability of bio-based platform chemical production.
Preparation and Optimization of Macroalgae-Derived Solid Acid CatalystsWaste and Biomass Valorization
Solid acid catalysts were synthesized from macroalgae Sargassum horneri via hydrothermal carbonization followed by sulfuric acid sulfonation. A three-variable Box-Behnken design and optimization was used to maximize surface acidity. The optimal preparation conditions were found to be at the carbonization temperature of 217 °C, the carbonization time of 4.6 h and the sulfonation temperature of 108.5 °C.
Preparation and Optimization of Macroalgae-Derived Solid Acid CatalystsWaste and Biomass Valorization volume
Solid acid catalysts were synthesized from macroalgae Sargassum horneri via hydrothermal carbonization followed by sulfuric acid sulfonation. A three-variable Box-Behnken design and optimization was used to maximize surface acidity. The optimal preparation conditions were found to be at the carbonization temperature of 217 °C, the carbonization time of 4.6 h and the sulfonation temperature of 108.5 °C. Under these conditions, the highest surface acidity achieved was 1.62 mmol g−1.
A techno-economic analysis of energy recovery from organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) by an integrated intermediate pyrolysis and combined heat and power (CHP) plantEnergy Conversion and Management
The increasing environmental concerns and the significant growth of the waste to energy market calls for innovative and flexible technology that can effectively process and convert municipal solid waste into fuels and power at high efficiencies. To ensure the technical and economic feasibility of new technology, a sound understanding of the characteristics of the integrated energy system is essential.
Fast Pyrolysis Oil Fuel Blend for Marine VesselsEnvironmental Progress & Sustainable Energy
The main driver for the investigation of fast pyrolysis oil marine fuel blends is EU directive 2012/33/EU which aims to cut the sulphur content of marine fuel and thereby reduce air pollution caused by marine vessels.