student profile: Mr Ahmed Owais Ahmed


Thesis work

Thesis title: Extraction of organic molecules from aqueous media following the hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass

Supervisors: Chiara NETO , Brian HAWKETT

Thesis abstract:

Aromatic organic molecules have been extensively used as raw materials in many sectors, for example, pharmaceutical industries, paints, dyes, and polymer synthesis. The hydrothermal liquefaction process of biomass leads to the production of bio-crude oil and useful organic chemicals, such as guaiacol, pyrocatechol, and cresols, in a water-rich environment. For industrial and energy applications, these products must be separated from the water medium. The currently employed separation strategies are based on applying high pressure, temperature or using expensive solvents, so they are energy and cost inefficient. The aim of my PhD project is to develop energy efficient methods to separate the crude oil and renewable water-soluble chemicals from the water phase by developing robust nanostructured coatings on porous substrates, based on special wettability coatings, supramolecular chemistry, and high surface area adsorbents.

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