UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Massimiliano Materazzi

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering 

Massimiliano Materazzi


Massimiliano joined the Department in 2015, after obtaining his PhD in collaboration with the UK company Advanced Plasma Power (APP), for the development of innovative Waste-to-Fuel solutions. Before moving to academic research, he has worked almost 10 years in the Waste-to-Energy industry as Process Engineer and R&D director. He is currently a Principal Research Fellow in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering working on the development of advanced technologies for bioenergy and biofuels generation from waste feedstocks, with a number of successful industrial projects on his track record. He is associate editor of the Waste Management Journal edited by Elsevier, and expert panel member for the UK government on a number of national competitions for hydrogen, sustainable aviation and greenhouse gas removal technologies deployment at commercial scale.

Teaching Summary 

I am passionate about the role of sustainability in engineering education and recently won by a UCL Education award in this area. I teach modules around the design and scale up of industrial reactor for sustainable application (Fluid Particle Systems, CENG0024), and have contributed to the design of the new MSc in Nature Inspired Solutions at UCL EAST. I supervise research projects within the MEng and MSc programmes in the Department. All my projects are in collaboration with industries in UK and abroad.

Research Summary

My research focuses on the major challenges to achieve higher resource efficiency with sustainable, environmentally responsible production. I do so by bridging fundamental knowledge on particle technologies and catalysis with the engineering design and scale-up of advanced technologies for sustainable applications, underpinning this with techno-economic analysis and commercial assessment. Main areas of research include:

  • Advanced thermal treatments (incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, plasma) for conversion of biomass and wastes into renewable energy and biofuels, including hydrogen for transport and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF);
  • Novel Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies for reducing impact of industries;
  • Design and operation criteria of industrial reactors for Sustainable Manufacturing;
  • Technological, economic and environmental aspects of the different recycling and recovery routes (mechanical recycling, chemical recycling and energy recovery) of plastic waste;
  • Application of Life Cycle Assessment and Material Flow Analysis as tools for environmental assessment of waste management planning and optimization.

My research is supported by sustained funding from Industry, charity, EPSRC, Energy Technology Institute (ETI), Innovate UK, Department for Transport (DfT) and BEIS. In 2018 I received the prestigious 5-year RAEng Research Fellowship to advance thermochemical technologies for biofuel synthesis. My early results have contributed to the construction of the first 5MW Waste-to-Fuel plant in the UK (Swindon), funded by the DfT, which started operation in 2022. The same project has granted my team 3 IChemE Global Awards (2018), in Energy, Sustainability and Outstanding Achievement in Chemical Engineering, providing worldwide visibility to my research.


  • 2015 - PhD, Chemical Engineering, University College London, UK
  • 2011 - MSc (Laurea Specialistica) Chemical and Process Engineering, University of L'Aquila, Italy
  • 2009 - BEng Chemical and Process Engineering, University of L'Aquila, Italy


  • 2021 - Sustainability Education Award (highly commended), UCL, UK
  • 2018 - Sustainability Global Award, IChemE, UK
  • 2018 - Energy Global Award, IChemE, UK
  • 2018 - Outstanding Achievements in Chemical Engineering Global Award, IChemE, UK

Professional Affiliations  

  • MIChemE – member of IChemE
  • FHEA – Fellow of HEA
  • CEng – chartered engineer


  • Amaya-Santos, G., Chari, S., Sebastiani, A., Grimaldi, F., Lettieri, P., Materazzi, M. (2021). Biohydrogen:A life cycle assessment and comparison with alternative low-carbon production routes in UK. Journal of Cleaner Production, 319 128886. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128886

  • Materazzi, M., Holt, A. (2019). Experimental analysis and preliminary assessment of an integratedthermochemical process for production of low-molecular weight biofuels from municipal solid waste. Renewable Energy, doi:10.1016/j.renene.2019.05.027

  • Iannello, S., Ugo Foscolo, P., Materazzi, M. (2021). Investigation of single particle devolatilization influidized bed reactors by X-ray imaging techniques. Chemical Engineering Journal, 133807.doi:10.1016/j.cej.2021.133807

  • Materazzi, M., Foscolo, P.U. (2019). Substitute natural gas from waste : Technical assessment and industrial applications of biochemical and thermochemical processes. Elsevier Science

  • Materazzi, M. (2016). Clean Energy from Waste. Springer International Publishing.

See more publications.