Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. John M Andresen has established an international research reputation developing novel solutions to meet the worldwide strive for cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions to water engineering.  In particular, his group has worked closely with industry to enhance the use of water through evaluation of industrial processes to identify opportunities for combined energy and water savings.  This work was recognized with the 2008 Lord Stafford Award in Innovation for Sustainability as a result of a DTI KTP project with Premier Foods entitled “To develop a system of process improvements and engineering solutions for optimising the use of energy and water in food manufacturing”.  His group has further been working on liquid by-products from the food and drink industry.  In particular, his work on conversion of waste water into renewable fuels using a new Microbial Fuel Cell concept has been highly successful, where his close involvement with industry has transferred the technology from the laboratory to a pilot scale plant.  This work was supported by a TSB Carbon Abatement Technology grant titled “Bio-gas from Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) to tackle carbon emission from the dairy industry”.  Lately it has contributed to the UK’s competitiveness through a TSB/KTP project with Arla Foods and Lindhurst Engineering, an East-Midland SME, titled “To commercialise a microbial fuel cell for transferring dairy waste water into sustainable energy gas and an organic fertilizer”.  From this work a patent is pending (J.M. Andresen and L. Porcu, “Novel Anode and Cathode for Biofuel Cells”, British Patent, Application date: 26/04/2011, Application Number: 1106929.1.)  The driving force for this research is to improving the quality of life both for stakeholders within the food and drink industry as well as the farming community and its environment.

-          Energy efficiency:  Evaluation of industrial processes for identification of energy and water savings.  My group was recognized with the Lord Stafford Award as a result of application of pinch technology in this area.  (

-          Products and renewable fuels from bio-mass:  In particular, my group has focused on pyrolysis of bio-mass with low cost catalysts for the development of bio-crudes and bio-chars.

-          Energy from waste water:  A focused effort by my group advanced a new Microbial Fuel Cell concept from the laboratory to a pilot scale plant.   (


Dr John Andresen gained his PhD in Applied Chemistry researching sustainable binders for carbon materials in 1997 from University of Strathclyde, Scotland.  He then worked as an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University, USA, where he was Director for the Consortium for Premium Carbon Products from Coal as well as its Carbon Research Centre.  He then moved to University of Nottingham, England, where he became an Associate Professor in 2006.  At UoN he worked closely with industry and secured three Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) projects in the area of sustainable fuel.  In 2012 he moved back to Scotland as a Reader in Sustainable Energy Engineering at Heriot Watt University.  He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Fuel Processing Technology, a leading journal in the area of energy, He is author of 177 publications including 1 book, 2 patents, 7 chapters in books, 28 peer-reviewed papers and 140 contributions to other journals and conference proceedings.

Roles & Responsibilities

Editor of Fuel Processing Technology, Elsevier.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Energy & Renewables
  • Engineering & Product Design
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Low Carbon Technology
  • Oil & Gas


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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