Dr Paula H. Blanco

Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

Phone number: +44 (0)121 204 4399
Email:  p.blanco-sanchez@aston.ac.uk 
Room Number: MB184-B


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Profile

In September 2017 I joined CEAC as Lecturer in Chemical Engineering. Previously I worked for two years as a Research Fellow at the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI). I worked on a joint project with Nova Pangea Technologies looking at bio-oil upgrading using acid hydrolysis. As a research fellow, I also collaborated in an EPSRC funded SUPERGEN Bioenergy Challenge Project: Real-time control of gasifiers to increase tolerance to biomass variety and reduce emissions.

I completed my PhD in Process and Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds in December 2014. My research was focused on hydrogen production from pyrolysis and gasification of refuse-derived fuels (RDF). This involved the synthesis and characterisation of diverse metal-based catalysts and further testing in a bench scale reaction system. During my PhD, I carried out a research stay at the University of Sydney in Australia, and some work at the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) as part of the  Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge (BRISK).  In recognition of my PhD results, I was awarded the Foxwell Memorial Prize for best student of the year 2014 from the Energy Institute, and a research excellence from the Acting Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies at the University of Leeds.

  • 2002-2007: BEng in Chemical Engineering, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City. Thesis title: Syngas production from plasma gasification of refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
  • 2010-2014:  PhD in Chemical and Processes Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK (Research excellence). Thesis title: Nickel-based catalysts to reduce tar formation and to increase the hydrogen production during the pyrolysis/gasification of refuse-derived fuels (RDF).
  • 2017: Fellow of the HE
  • 2007-2008 Chemical engineer in an environmental consultancy: engineering tower, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City. Main work was carried out in Oil Refineries.
  • 2009-2010 Technical sales representative chemical industry in Mexico (Maldin Chemistry SA de CV).Working as a chemical engineer in the paper production industry.
  • 2014 Project development and technical advice chemical industry in Mexico (Cinetica Quimica SA de CV).
  • 2014 Research Fellow, Energy Research Institute (ERI), University of Leeds.
  • Pyrolysis.
  • Gasification (CFBG, fixed-bed, Fluidised-bed).
  • Biomass & RDF (refuse derived fuel).
  • Metal-based catalysts, polymeric acid resins.
  • Nano-catalysts.
  • Catalytic steam reforming.
  • Acid Hydrolysis.
  • Bio-oil upgrading.
2017-2018 CE3019 Advanced Reaction Engineering
I am happy to supervise PhD research projects related to the thermal conversion of biomass, products upgrading (gaseous and liquid streams), and catalysts development. 

I am also interested in exploring research areas for the potential production of high-value fuels and chemicals.

I have worked in the acid hydrolysis of bio-oil fractions, so this is also a potential research area to explore the production of high-value products.