UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Carla Tagliaferri

Carla joined the Department in 2012 as Erasmus student from Naples Federico II University to perform the last year project in fluidization. She graduated with in Chemical Engineering with honours in Naples and then she started a PhD on Life Cycle Assessment of energy systems at UCL.

Research project

Title: Innovative sources and technologies for the future energy mix in the UK: A life cycle assessment

Energy mixes are continuously evolving according to technological development, economics, society, energy demand and legislation. The energy sector is significantly contributing to the global environmental impact; therefore, shifts in energy mixes can strongly affect the environmental quality. 

Environmental impact of future energy technologies must be addressed through a comprehensive framework to guarantee a sustainable development. The tool of Life Cycle Assessment is applied to the case study of the UK. For many centuries, the energy supply to the UK has been based on coal, for instance. However, legislation and more environmental awareness are pushing towards greener and more stable energy supply, including, electricity from waste, bio-methane, unconventional natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG). These and other energy sources and technologies, will constitute the projected future of the UK energy supply. 

The objective of this work is to develop a comprehensive framework based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology that can assist decision makers in the evaluation of the environmental burdens of developing energy sources and technologies. Firstly, advanced and conventional waste-to-electricity technologies, such as pyrolysis, plasma-gasification and combustion are analysed. All of them are promising technologies for the diversion of waste from landfill and the production of renewable energy. Then, the burden of biomethane production from waste is analysed: advanced thermal conversion and anaerobic digestion are compared according to current and future energy mixes. Fossil energy source such as shale gas and LNG are also analysed as they are expected to play an import role in the future UK energy mix. The most polluting parts for the supply of the different energy sources are identified and those need to be addressed in first instance for reducing the environment impact of the whole process.
This work demonstrates how the LCA framework can be used to draw guidelines for a future, aware, energy development. The outputs of this assessment provide valuable information to stakeholders and policy makers to be correctly informed, and can help in planning new policy legislations or tune the existing ones.


Laurea Triennale in Chemical Engineering (Universita’ Federico II, Naples)
Laurea Magistrale in Chemical Engineering (Universita’ Federico II, Naples)