Dr Lynsey Melville is Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Faculty of Computing Engineering and Built Environment. She leads the Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering research group whose focus is on accelerating the adoption of environmentally sustainable and commercially viable energy from biomass.
Lynsey is an interdisciplinary researcher with a strong commercial focus, working alongside some of the world’s largest engineering and utility companies and driving over £2million worth of externally funded research and innovation work.
Her vision is to utilise her knowledge, experience and skills to improve the resilience of communities in both the developed and developing world by fostering inclusive, humanitarian engineering approaches to the management and utilisation of biomass.
With expertise spanning various areas of environmental engineering (from water and wastewater treatment, organic waste management and bioenergy production) she has provided expert support to both industry and academia and her work has sought to bridge the gap between the two as a technology transfer consultant and as co-founder of a University spin-out company.
Areas of Expertise (4)
Biomass and Bioenergy
Organic Waste Management
University of Wolverhampton/Imperial College London: Ph.D. 2003
Plymouth University: B.Sc., Environmental Science 1998
- Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges
- European Algal Bioenergy Association
- Engineers Without Borders
- Women's Engineering Society
Selected Media Appearances (1)
Farmers warned about nematodirus drench resistance
Farmers Weekly online
Best practice still remains to use white drenches (Benzimidazole) on Nematodirus battus populations on farm, but farmers are being urged to undertake post-treatment tests to assess drug efficacy, says Lynsey Melville of the Moredun Institute...
Selected Articles (5)
Managing organic waste streams is a major challenge for the agricultural industry. Anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic wastes is a preferred option in the waste management hierarchy, as this process can generate renewable energy, reduce emissions from waste storage, and produce fertiliser material. However, Nitrate Vulnerable Zone legislation and seasonal restrictions can limit the use of digestate on agricultural land. In this paper we demonstrate the potential of cultivating microalgae on digestate as a feedstock, either directly after dilution, or indirectly from effluent remaining after biofertiliser extraction. Resultant microalgal biomass can then be used to produce livestock feed, biofuel or for higher value bio-products. The approach could mitigate for possible regional excesses, and substitute conventional high-impact products with bio-resources, enhancing sustainability within a circular economy. Recycling nutrients from digestate with algal technology is at an early stage. We present and discuss challenges and opportunities associated with developing this new technology.
Implementation of biomass based bioenergy project: supporting sustainable development for low income countries.
By reviewing the literatures on the interrelationships between livestock agriculture and sustainable development in developing countries, this paper aims to explore how adapting and modifying livestock systems management with alga-culture can contribute to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specific objectives were to perform an in-depth analysis of relevant interdisciplinary literature using Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) framework to identify knowledge gaps, and isolate sections of opportunities and uncertainties that could shed light into areas that require further research. This is then followed by a quid pro quo synthetization of areas of linkage between livestock and microalgae cultivation using the SDGs as a unifying platform. The review identifies where integrated microalgae-livestock systems inclusion may have direct impact on achieving the SDGs targets such as clean water and sanitation (SDG6), hunger and malnutrition (SDG2), climate change (SDG13), responsible consumption and production (SDG12), and life on land (SDG15). Moreover, from the perspective of the SDGs, this paper highlights that, integrated microalgae-livestock systems inclusion in the achievement of SDGs is about minimizing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions due to livestock waste, wastewater treatment and recycling, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture to achieve food security to meet the increasing demand for animal sourced products. Furthermore, despite conflicting evidence about the efficiency of using microalgae for animal feed supplementation, a comparative examination of the literatures on microalgae-based feedstock with conventional feeds suggest that, poor growth, health, fertility and productivity issues in farm animals due to low nutrition and poor digestibility can be improved through optimum feed supplementation using microalgae.
The efficacy of sonication as a pre-treatment to anaerobic digestion (AD) was assessed using thickened waste activated sludge (TWAS). Efficiency was measured in relation to solubilisation, dewaterability, and AD performance. Eighteen experimental conditions were evaluated at low frequency (20 kHz), duration (2–10 s), amplitude (∼8–12 μm) and applied pressure (0.5–3.0 barg), using a sonix™ patented titanium sonoprobe capable of delivering an instantaneous power of ∼6 kW provided by Doosan Enpure Ltd (DEL). An optimised experimental protocol was used as a pre-treatment for biochemical methane potential (BMP) testing and semi-continuous trials. Four digesters, with a 2-L working volume were operated mesophilically (37 ± 0.5 °C) over 22 days. The results showed that the sonix™ technology delivers effective sonication at very short retention times compared to conventional system. Results demonstrate that the technology effectively disrupts the floc structures and filaments within the TWAS, causing an increase in solubilisation and fine readily digestible material. Both BMP tests and semi-continuous trials demonstrated that sonicated TWAS gave higher biodegradability and methane potential compared to untreated TWAS. Partial-stream sonication (30:70 sonicated to untreated TWAS) resulted in a proportionate increase in biogas production illustrating the benefits of full-stream sonication.
Calculations towards determining the greenhouse gas mitigation capacity of a small-scale biogas plant (3.2 m3 plant) using cow dung in Bangladesh are presented. A general life cycle assessment was used, evaluating key parameters (biogas, methane, construction materials and feedstock demands) to determine the net environmental impact. The global warming potential saving through the use of biogas as a cooking fuel is reduced from 0.40 kg CO2 equivalent to 0.064 kg CO2 equivalent per kilogram of dung. Biomethane used for cooking can contribute towards mitigation of global warming. Prior to utilisation of the global warming potential of methane (from 3.2 m3 biogas plant), the global warming potential is 13 t of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduced to 2 t as a result of complete combustion of methane. The global warming potential saving of a bioenergy plant across a 20-year life cycle is 217 t of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is 11 t per year. The global warming potential of the resultant digestate is zero and from construction materials is less than 1% of total global warming potential. When the biogas is used as a fuel for cooking, the global warming potential will reduce by 83% compare with the traditional wood biomass cooking system. The total 80 MJ of energy that can be produced from a 3.2 m3 anaerobic digestion plant would replace 1.9 t of fuel wood or 632 kg of kerosene currently used annually in Bangladesh. The digestate can also be used as a nutrient rich fertiliser substituting more costly inorganic fertilisers, with no global warming potential impact.