Global Processing

University of Manchester researchers win prestigious chemical engineering award

December 19, 2011

MANCHESTER, U.K. — Dr. Constantinos Theodoropoulos and Professor Colin Webb from The University of Manchester’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science have been named the recipients of the 2011 IChemE Innovation and Excellence Award for Bioprocessing, according to a press release.

They received the award for their work on “Sustainable biorefineries through the co-production of fuels and chemicals: The biochemical production of succinic acid from biorefinery glycerol.”

The academics, along with their research groups at The University of Manchester, found that a bacterium, Actinobacillus succinogenes, can convert glycerol into succinic acid, used in a variety of products from medicines to food flavors to plasticisers.

This process will add significant value to this byproduct stream leading to the construction of integrated biorefineries with significantly-improved economic sustainability, which co-produce fuels and chemicals, according to the release.