An Imperial College London PhD student turned co-founder of sustainable solutions company Chrysalix Technologies, chemical engineer Florence Gschwend is passionate about creating a clean future for all.
It’s her company’s initiative the BioFlex Process – a process that turns thousands of tonnes of unused biomass material, including agricultural residues, energy crops and waste construction wood, into new raw material – that won her the Young Researcher Award at the IChemE Global Awards 2019.
To mark World Environment Day today (5 June), we’re sharing Florence’s story. In this video Florence explains more about how she and her colleagues are scaling up this sustainable technology and why she was delighted to be crowned the category winner at the IChemE Global Awards.
Do you know a young researcher who is using their technical knowledge to help address important economic, environmental or social issues?
Why not nominate them for the Young Researcher Award. Nominations are open now. The deadline for entries has been extended until 10 July 2020.
Addressing the need to generate new medicines and treatments for patients at a faster pace was something that UK consortium group – CPI, UCB Celltech, Lonza Pharma and Biotech, Horizon Discovery, Sphere Fluidics, and Alcyomics, have been developing over the past four years and earned them the IChemE Global Award 2019 in the Biotechnology Award category.
“If you involve chemical engineers earlier, you can get more manufacturable solutions earlier. It’s having that translational mindset in the project from an early stage, which makes a massive difference.”
The project incorporated various sectors of the biopharmaceutical industry together and working as team help advance the production and delivery of medication to patients more efficiently.
Enerkem, Canada walked away with the IChemE Global Awards 2018 in the Biotechnology category for their project From Waste to Biofuels: Enerkem’s Disruptive Biotechnology.
Being at the forefront of waste management, Enerkem’s state-of-the-art technology enables them to take non-recyclable and non-compostable municipal solid waste converting this into renewable energy. This offers environmental benefits such as preventing methane release from landfills, but also reducing CO2 emissions by displacing sources of ethanol and methanol.
In this video, Alex Miles, Enerkem’s Director, Commercial Development (Europe), explains more about the company’s work on this technology over the past 18 years and how it is being rolled out globally:
Chemical engineers gathered at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh this week for the annual ChemEngDay conference. ChemEngDay was initiated to facilitate networking between chemical engineers in the academic community, and this year was the first time it has been held in Scotland.
116 chemical engineering academics, researchers, PhD students and industry experts came together to share insight and knowledge under the following themes:
• bioprocessing and biotechnology;
• catalysis and novel materials;
• particulate technology;
• process modelling and simulation; and
• sustainable industry.
IChemE joined Aramco, Armfield, GUNT Technology and PA Hilton to exhibit at the conference and to speak to the academic community to learn more about their work and how these chemical engineers are helping provide solutions to global challenges.
Every year millions of people around the world die from vaccine preventable diseases. Why?
Well, researchers at the University of Bath, led by Dr Asel Sartbaeva found that keeping vaccines cold was the one of the biggest challenges in transporting these vital medicines around the world.
If the proteins in vaccines reach a temperature above 8ºC they can become ineffective and unusable – and in some cases, even toxic.
As a result, vaccination levels are 16% lower in low-income countries compared to the developed world, in part, because they do not have the electricity, infrastructure or equipment to store and transport these vital medicines.
To help tackle this challenge, Asel and her team have developed a method called ‘ensilication’ which involves encasing vaccines in silica to protect the proteins, and eliminate the need for refrigeration.
The technology has been several years in development, and as well as helping millions of people around the world, it is also highly sustainable. The material is non-toxic and biocompatible, and the elimination of refrigeration ultimately reduces the environmental burden of generating power to run medical fridges.
As Asel says: “It’s very important because today we don’t deliver vaccines to millions of people. In fact, statistically more than 7 million people die around the world from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
This amazing project won an IChemE Global Award in November 2017, under the category ‘Biotechnology’. Asel collected the Award from Peter Farrelly, Managing Director of PM Group – category sponsor.
Watch her reaction and find out more about the project in our short video:
Come back tomorrow when we’ll be shining the spotlight on another 2017 IChemE Global Award winner.
Are you feeling inspired to apply for the IChemE Global Awards 2018? Whether you would like to enter your own project, sponsor a category, or just attend to support your fellow professionals –register your interest here.
The IChemE Global Awards 2017 were held in Birmingham, UK on Thursday 2 November, held in partnership with Johnson Matthey and Wood.
A brilliant piece of news hit our desks this morning, and chemical engineering is at it’s heart. London-based start-up Bio-Bean have teamed up with Costa and Shell, to power London buses with bio-fuel derived from coffee waste.
Bio-Bean has a number of products in it’s growing portfolio, but it is it’s B20 biodiesel that has been hitting headlines, and powering London buses from today.
Last month the IChemE Global Awards 2016 were held in Manchester, UK, in one of the biggest celebrations of chemical engineering achievement worldwide. Our judges had a difficult task narrowing down 16 winners from 120 amazing finalists.
The ceremony was held at the Principal Hotel and welcomed over 400 guests from around the world to recognise and celebrate chemical engineering success stories.
For many, success doesn’t end after collecting a trophy, but marks the starting point on a journey to excellence. An IChemE Award can take you to some unexpected places, make commercialisation easier, help to develop your team or grow your portfolio. You could even get a letter from the US President.
So every day this week we’ll be dedicating special blog posts to the 2016 Award winners and their innovative, fascinating, problem-solving projects. With the fantastic support of Morgan Sindall we have produced a video for every one – enjoy!
This week our IChemE journals have much to celebrate. The latest figures from Thomson Reuters have revealed two journals, which we published in partnership with Elsevier, have increased Impact Factors.
So how does he plan to make the role his own? We caught up with him to find out.
Name: Ian Wilson (DI Wilson on papers – I’m called by my second name) Education:
Undergraduate, Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK
PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Job Title:
Professor of Soft Solids and Surfaces, University of Cambridge, UK
Joint Editor-in-Chief, Food and Bioproducts Processing Membership Grade: Fellow Special Interest Group: Food & Drink Research interests: How processing microstructured materials such as foodstuffs determines their structure and properties. This has led me to work in rheology, fouling and cleaning, and heat transfer.
In my daily blog, I’ve talked frequently about the need for chemical engineers to operate in multi-disciplinary teams. Today’s blog – about an innovation in 3-D microfluidic systems – illustrates this point once again.
The idea for a new type of 3-D microfluidic system, developed by USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has great similarities with a toy box favourite – Lego, which as boys and girls know, is a fun and flexible system that can be used to build (and deconstruct) just about anything.
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