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Research scholars win second spot in Poster Slam

Research scholars Anurag Parihar and Vibhuti Chhabra secured the second prize in the poster slam competition at the Australian Synchrotron-User Meeting 2016 held at Australian Synchrotron, Melbourne, on November 24 and 25, 2016. Vibhuti is a research scholar with the IITB-Monash Research Academy, while Anurag is a PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering of Monash University working on conversion of biomass to platform chemicals.

Their poster, titled ‘Thermochemical conversion of wastes to liquid fuel and platform chemicals’, presented their ongoing PhD work and the results obtained from the experiments conducted at the Australian Synchrotron and Monash University.

Globally, the volume of waste generated from urban centres of the world is around 1,300 million tonnes per year (1.2 kg/capita/day) which is expected to rise to 2,200 million tonnes per year by 2025.

Wastes such as biomass and mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) can be valorised into useful products ranging from platform chemicals to oil — using thermochemical processes like pyrolysis. However, pyrolysis is influenced by various parameters like temperature, heating rate, residence time, pressure, catalyst and type of feedstock.

Anurag and Vibhuti investigated the thermal breakdown of biomass and MSW under different heating rates to study the feasibility of formation of intended products—viz. oil (from MSW) and platform chemicals (from biomass). Additionally, they also studied the effect of acid (as catalyst) impregnation on biomass during pyrolysis, and found that various aliphatic and aromatic functional groups identified in their study during thermal degradation of MSW prove its suitability for bio-oil production.

Vibhuti’s supervisors are Prof Yogendra Shastri and Prof Sankar Bhattacharya, while Anurag’s are Prof Sankar Bhattacharya and Prof Gil Garnier.

Congratulations, Vibhuti and Anurag!


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