My name is Marion Carrier and I have recently joined Aston University to work at the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) after being awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) research individual fellowship.
Trained as an interdisciplinary researcher since my PhD obtained in France (IRCELyon), I have broadened my knowledge in the fields of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering by working at leading research organisations. My interest for the thermal conversion of biomass was first sparked off when I undertook a postdoctoral position at the ‘Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée’ (France) where I investigated the supercritical degradation patterns of highly contaminated biomasses. One year later, I got the opportunity to investigate alternative thermochemical techniques such as Pyrolysis and Gasification at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). There I actively participated in the development of processing guidelines and analytical strategies for the recovery of high-value organic compounds and biomaterials, but also pursued my long-term interests concerning the influence of the lignocellulose composition on pyrolysis reaction pathways. Following these five years, I worked as a researcher in the field of Bioenergy at the ‘Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico’/University of Concepción focusing on the fast pyrolysis of biomass. This last technology is of particular interest as it can directly convert solid biomass into a liquid product known as bio-oil whose potentiality as transportation fuels and chemicals feedstock has long been explored in particular at Aston University with the creation and coordination of a unique international network by Professor Anthony Bridgwater.
After meeting him on a few occasions, I approached him to discuss further about my Research interests that focus on exploring the chemistry of Pyrolysis to better control the quality of pyrolysis products and to develop this thematic by his side. As a result, we have been granted in 2015 the MSC action named PYROCHEM : “Biopolymers 13C tracking during fast pyrolysis of biomass-A mechanistic investigation”, which aims at reaching a new level of understanding of fast pyrolysis mechanisms by acquiring the necessary knowledge at a molecular-level using fractionation and isotopic characterisation techniques along with molecular dynamics calculations. A similar integrated experimental and computational approach that I previously adopted during my PhD study to propose a more comprehensive view of Advanced Oxidation mechanisms, is currently being used to unravel the complexity of events that take place during fast pyrolysis.
In addition to being a formidable opportunity for me to strengthen my scientific background and pursue my research in an outstanding environment, this Marie Skłodowska-Curie project also allows me to focus on furthering my professional and academic career with the access to a continuous training here in Aston.
Hopefully, I will come back to you soon with some comments on my findings.