The School of Engineering and Applied Science was rated highly in the latest Research Assessment Exercise. Research strengths in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering  were vital to achieving this performance.

Research activity is particularly focused in the areas of development and analysis of new materials and processes with particular application to biological and environmental systems.  The membership of the Research Groups at CEAC comprises senior academic staff who have established international reputations and this has helped  to foster strong links with industrial and academic partners – and to attract substantial research income.

The vibrant research effort within CEAC is divided into two main areas, Bioenergy and Polymers. Within these two areas there are different research groups concentrating on projects that offer important opportunities for the exploitation of scientific and  technological advances.

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) acts as a focus for pan-European activities on scientific and technological aspects of biomass conversion and utilisation of products for renewable power, heat, transport fuels, hydrogen and chemicals.

For more information on the different research activities within EBRI, please click here.

Surface, Materials and Catalysis Group

Catalysis is a core area of science and technology and key contributor to the UK economy, with the potential to transform society through addressing energy, climate change, water purification and sustainability. Research is focused within a new £2.5M suite of state-of-the-art laboratories for the synthesis, characterisation and testing of advanced porous and nanoparticle catalysts for sustainable chemical processes and energy production. Projects include the development of bifunctional nanocatalysts for biorefinery applications, green technologies for the selective hydrogenation and oxidation of key fine chemical intermediates, novel photocatalysts for the direct production of solar fuels and chemicals from CO2 as a sustainable feedstock, and innovative analytical methods for the understanding the mechanism of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts in action.

For more information on different research activities within the Surface, Materials and Catalysis Group, please click here

Bio-Energy Research Group

Aston is the UK leader in thermal processes for biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals, applying chemical engineering science and technology to the development of advanced processes for the production of liquid fuels, gaseous fuels, chemicals and electricity from natural resources and wastes. Research encompasses both intermediate and fast pyrolysis, which convert solid biomass into a valuable liquid energy carrier or fuel (bio-oil), or readily upgraded into higher value second generation biofuels/chemicals, alongside gasification, biomass pre-treatment, product upgrading, characterisation and analysis, chemicals production, system design, and techno-economic evaluation of bioenergy and biofuels production and biorefineries. We also have extensive expertise in particle engineering and computational modelling of multiphase systems.

For more information on different research activities within the Bio-Energy Research Group, please click here


Polymers and Advanced Materials Group


The Group is a leading broad-based polymer research group of national and international standing with expertise in basic and applied multidisciplinary research into polymers and biomaterials; from novel design and synthesis, to melt processing and the role of specialty additives and antioxidants, through to their performance in service for industrial, biological and medical applications.

For more information on the different research activities within Polymers and Advanced Materials Group, please click here.