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Karla Dussan awarded Best Paper at the 6th International Conference on Engineering for Waste & Biomass Valorisation held on June 23-26

Karla Dussan awarded Best Paper at the 6th International Conference on Engineering for Waste & Biomass Valorisation held on June

The paper is entitled “Effect of Chemical Composition on the Pyrolysis Kinetics of Lignocellulosic Biomass Using Surrogates” .  The paper introduces a numerical modelling procedure that deciphers the complicated thermochemical and thermophysical reaction kinetic and mass transfer processes responsible for the conversion of renewable lignocellulosic and municipal solid wastes into valuable chemical commodities, chemical energy carriers, or heat energy. Figuring out how to reuse municipal solid (household) wastes and lignocellulosic (plant matter) wastes are key challenges for a sustainable and low carbon society. The chemical composition of both types of waste is both extremely complicated, and also extremely variable. In order to fundamentally comprehend how the wastes can be optimally converted to valuable products, one must first deal with these issues of material complexity. The paper proposes a methodology to do this by approximating the composition of various lignocellulosic wastes as “surrogate” mixtures of simple chemically discrete monomers. With the assistance of MSSI Instrument Scientist Dr. Wynette Redington, the Thermal Gravimetry experimental facilities at the MSSI have been used to test the appropriateness of this principle. With the wastes deciphered from macroscopically defined “engineering” materials into microscopically defined “scientific” materials, their thermochemical reaction is modelled at the molecular level, providing new and detailed comprehension of the elementary processes.”

The paper was one of two contributions out of 476 submitted by 340 participants from 51 countries to receive best paper awards at the recent 6th International Conference on Waste Engineering & Biomass Valorisation at Albi France. The research is the result of a UL-NUIG collaboration between Dr. Karla Dussan, Dr. Rory Monaghan and Dr. Stephen Dooley funded by SFI, EPA, and IRCSET. The prize consists of €500 book vouchers for hungry minds!”

Karla Dussan is a phd graduate of UL, who presently works at NUIG as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Rory Monaghan and MSSI member Dr Stephen Dooley.  Since early 2015 Karla has been diligently travelling between Galway and Limerick where she conducts the measurements to support the modelling work.  Without the experimental facilities at the MSSI (TGA) we would not be able to conduct as impactful work.