Research Areas

Projects at Carbolea








Current Projects

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Carbolea is co-ordinating a large FP7 project that involves close collaboration between 13 partners, 7 from Latin America and 6 from Europe. The focus of this project is on the sustainable production of diesel miscible biofuels from the residues and wastes of both regions.



EPA Funded - Analysis of Irish Waste Materials

The EPA STRIVE programme has funded a project that will allow Carbolea researchers to analyse, in detail, the various waste materials that arise in Ireland. The laboratory analysis will be geared towards looking for components relevant to hydrolysis or thermochemical biorefining technologies. Near Infrared Spectroscopy will also be integrated into the analytical protocol and its utility in the rapid analysis of waste will be assessed. The primary compositional data will inform a comparison between utilising these waste materials in biorefineries compare with more traditional means of waste treatment.



Evaluate Agricultural Feedstocks and Biorefining Technologies

In association with the Department of Agriculture, UL researchers are undertaking a desk-based evaluation of biorefining technologies and feedstocks for Ireland with a focus on the products of the agricultural sector. This work also involves a signifcant amount of lab-work characterising these feedstocks.



Tar Mitigation in Biosyngas Production

This project examines the way to avoid the formation of tars in the gasification of biomass.



Formic Acid Derived from Biomass for Catalytic Olefins Hydrogenation

Formic acid (FA), is a by-product of some “second generation” biorefineries. This project investigates the catalytic vapor phase transfer hydrogenation of olefins (ethylene and propylene) by formic acid, and hydrogen production from fromic acid.




ReUseWaste is an Initial Training Network project funded under the Marie Curie action of the EU-FP7-PEOPLE-2011 program. It brings together major EU research groups, agri-environmental technology companies and public authorities from regions of intensive livestock production in Europe. The ReUseWaste network will train a group of young researchers in developing new technologies for socially and environmentally sustainable utilisation of resources in animal waste.



Char Production, Characterisation and Optimisation

A major project is underway, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, involving the production of biochar and the analysis of its properties and how these influence its utility as a plant growth promoter, pollution remediant, and means for sequestering atmospheric carbon.



Completed Projects

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Novel Catalysts for the Dry Reforming of Methane to Syngas and Hydrogen

This project examines various types of catalysts for the dry reforming of methane to produce a synthesis gas (syngas) and/or hydrogen.



Peat Analysis for Biorefining Processes

Various types of peats have been collected and analysed via wet chemical and spectroscopic techniques. The resulting compositional data have enabled predictions to be made concerning the value of these peats in various biorefining technologies.



Design and Operate a Pyrolysis/Gasification Unit

A laboratory scale pyrolysis/gasification unit has been designed and built. This facility will shortly be operational at Carbolea and will be used to process a variety of residues, wastes and dedicated agricultural crops.







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