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Personal profile


Dr Aimaro Sanna has been recently appointed as Assistant Professor in the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE), after successfully completing a 4 years Heriot-Watt Research Fellowship (2014-2017). Aimaro Sanna did is PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham working on catalytic processes towards the conversion of biomass in bio-fuels and bio-chemicals. He then became employed as Research Fellow at the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Nottingham (2010-2012) working on clean fossil fuels technologies. From 2012 to 2014, he worked at the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, on clean fossil fuels technologies and on the development of new generation catalytic systems for understanding and controlling the chemical transformation of biomass-derived oxygenates to fuels. 

Research Group Contact Details

Research Group website: www.advancedbiofuelslab.com

Research interests

The Advanced Biofuels Lab research team is developing novel catalytic systems for the production of inexpensive renewable liquid fuel and commodity chemicals out of renewable products such as microalgae, wood and organic wastes, in collaboration with international researchers.

Also, the team is supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in developing alterative processes for turning their wastes from liability to assets and to decrease their carbon dioxide emissions.

In summary, my research group expertise and interests are in bioenergy and waste valorisation combining catalysis, materials science and chemical engineering aspects, including: catalytic membrane reactors, auger reactors, techno economic assessment, pre and post combustion CO2 capture using high temperature solid sorbents, catalytic pyrolysis, gasification, hydrotreating and aqueous phase processing for bio-oils upgrading and mineral carbonation technologies.


  • TP Chemical technology
  • biomass

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Research Output

Catalytic cracking of Etek lignin with zirconia supported metal-oxides for alkyl and alkoxy phenols recovery

Hendry, A., Åhlén, M., Fernandes, T., Cheung, O. & Sanna, A., 12 Aug 2020, In : Bioresource Technology. 317, 124008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Hydrogenation of biobased aldehydes to mono-alcohols using bimetallic catalysts

    Bagnato, G., Signoretto, M., Pizzolitto, C., Menegazzo, F., Xi, X., ten Brink, G. H., Kooi, B. J., Heeres, H. J. & Sanna, A., 17 Aug 2020, In : ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. 8, 32, p. 11994–12004 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Stability of Li-LSX zeolite in the catalytic pyrolysis of non-treated and acid pre-treated Isochrysis sp. Microalgae

    Abd Rahman, N. A., Fermoso, J. & Sanna, A., 20 Feb 2020, In : Energies. 13, 4, 959.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Tuning Na2ZrO3 for fast and stable CO2 adsorption by solid state synthesis

    Munro, S., Åhlén, M., Cheung, O. & Sanna, A., 15 May 2020, In : Chemical Engineering Journal. 388, 124284.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    Open Access
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    8 Downloads (Pure)


    • 1 Editorial activity

    Fuel Processing Technology (Journal)

    Aimaro Sanna (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity