Waste to Energy - Torrefaction of Biomass and Organic Residues to Produce Solid Fuel

   Faculty of Engineering & Digital Technologies

  , ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

An increasing world energy demand, the depletion of conventional fossil fuel sources and a growing awareness of their environmental impacts, highlights the importance of promoting the use of alternative fuels from renewable sources. In this context, biomass, and organic waste present as attractive feedstocks for energy applications due to its vast availability and social implications. Torrefaction is a thermochemical process performed at low temperature and pressure under an inert reaction atmosphere, where organic matter is transformed into a solid product with improved fuel properties. This solid fuel can then be used for different processes as an alternative to coal and other fossil fuels.

The aim of this project is to study the effect that process parameters (feedstock composition, temperature, particle size, and heating rate) have on the fuel properties of the torrefied solid. Laboratory work will be performed using a lab scale horizontal fixed bed reactor. The torrefied solid will be thoroughly characterized to determine its fuel properties. Experimental results will be used to determine the kinetics of the process. The successful applicant will be passionate about research in the field of renewable energy. Students with a background in chemical engineering or closely related are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Formal applications can be made through the University of Bradford web site.

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD project; applicants will be expected to pay their own fees or have a suitable source of third-party funding. A bench fee may also apply to this project, in addition to the tuition fees. UK students may be able to apply for a Doctoral Loan from Student Finance for financial support.


Volpe R, Messineo A, Millan M, Volpe M, Kandiyoti R. Assessment of olive wastes as energy source: pyrolysis, torrefaction and the key role of H loss in thermal breakdown. Energy. 2015 Mar 15;82:119–27. Shankar Tumuluru J, Sokhansanj S, Hess JR, Wright CT, Boardman RD. REVIEW: A review on biomass torrefaction process and product properties for energy applications. Ind Biotechnol. 2011 Oct 1;7(5):384–401. Van der Stelt MJC, Gerhauser H, Kiel JHA, Ptasinski KJ. Biomass upgrading by torrefaction for the production of biofuels: A review. Biomass Bioenergy. 2011 Oct 1;35(9):3748–62

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