UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Taster lecture: Biomass and Carbon Capture and Storage: aiming for a negative-emissions future

17 June 2020, 10:00 am–11:00 am

Taster lecture: Biomass and Carbon Capture and Storage: aiming for a negative-emissions future

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Mark Bernardes – UCL Chemical Engineering


Could biomass slow the rate of global warming? It is already widely considered as a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuel, but how far can we go?

Since the industrial revolution, the increasing use of fossil fuels has released excess CO2 in the atmosphere, causing the well-known dramatic effects on the environment. What if we could remove some of this excess CO2?

Biomass is plant-based waste material e.g agricultural waste, wood pellets, but also paper and cardboard.

Plants growth represents a natural carbon capture process. They adsorb CO2 directly from the atmosphere and convert it to glucose, an incredible source of energy. Biomass can be treated to release this energy. One of the by-products is CO2, the same CO2 previously extracted by the plant from the atmosphere.

So, what happened if we could capture that CO2 and store it?

We might be able to reduce the net amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, therefore potentially achieving negative-emissions.

This lecture will explore the role of biomass with carbon capture in tackling environmental issues, the potential, the state of the art and, of course, the challenges.

Presented by:

Dr Elena Catalanotti, Post Doctoral Research Assistant (PDRA)

Please note, we will do our best to answer questions about the current Covid-19 situation, and what effects this may have going forward. Do visit UCL's main coronavirus webpage for the latest updates (see section 8 for prospective students).

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About the Speaker

Dr Elena Catalanotti

Post Doctoral Research Assistant (PDRA) at UCL Chemical Engineering

Dr Elena Catalanotti
With a background in Chemistry and a PhD in Chemical Engineering, supported by a Mary Curie Fellowship, my interest has always focused on natural resources and low carbon impact. My areas of work have shifted from biofuels combustion for aviation applications, to techno-economic assessments of coal and biomass-fired power plants with carbon capture facilities. After a long break of 6 years, I returned to research with a Daphne Jackson Fellowship, working on techno-economic assessments of biomass gasification with carbon capture and syngas applications. More about Dr Elena Catalanotti