The consortium of academic EU Beneficiaries and Partners comprises world leading research groups:

  • University of Leeds (UNIVLEEDS) (Coordinator) is ranked in the top 100 Universities in the World. Annual income is €665M of which research income >€156M. The School of Process, Environmental & Materials Engineering is the largest integrated multidisciplinary Engineering School in Europe with >150 research staff and 250 research students. The School have researched pyrolysis of wastes for more than 20 years, developing novel technologies aimed at maximising the economic benefit of the process by recovery of valuable products and published more than 400 scientific papers and awarded >€15 million in grants.
  • University of Sheffield (USFD) was founded in 1905. It is one of the prestigious Russell Group of research intensive universities in the UK. It is ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide. The university has 5 faculties with around 5,300 academic and administrative staff housed in two campuses. The student population is around 27,000. The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is a thriving department within the University’s Faculty of Engineering, comprising 38 academic staff, 45 research staff and technicians, 20 support staff and over 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students.  The Department has a vibrant research and teaching culture spanning particle science and technology, nanotechnology, new energy technologies, the environment and applications of post-genomics bioscience for biotechnology and bioprocessing applications. The department is ranked amongst the UK’s top five Chemical Engineering departments for its world leading and internationally excellent research and ranked number one for research environment based on the results of the Unit of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • The University of Hull (UHULL) has an annual turnover of €220m and 1000 academic staff with 80%  ranked (UK University Ranking) at international standard in terms of originality, significance and rigour. The School of Engineering at UHULL has 40 research staff and >50 research students and has invested heavily in computation and simulation via high performance computers equipped with various modern software such as gPROMS, Aspen Custom Modeller, Aspen Plus, Aspen HYSY, GAMS, Matlab/Simulink. Key expertise at UHULL focuses on process modelling and simulation, resulting in the award of >€10M research grants.
  • The University of Pannonia, Hungary (PANNON) has 10,000 students and 1300 staff. PANNON is supported by ⅓ Government training and ⅔ R&D projects which make-up the University budget. The Faculty of Engineering at PANNON has a wide range of expertise in materials characterisation, fuels testing, nanotechnology, composites, and structural materials. The Faculty has a long term experience in waste utilization, especially pyrolysis of municipal and plastic wastes. Expertise in fuels analysis & testing, materials characterisation and composite fabrication and testing, with many patents and >250 papers.
  • The University of Tsinghua, PR China (TSINGHUA) is ranked in the top 50 Universities in the world under the QS University Rankings 2013/14 and in the top 3 Universities in PR China. Tsinghua University has over 40 research institutes, and some 170 laboratories, including 15 National Key laboratories. The Department of Thermal Engineering has 150 research staff and focuses on the clean energy development and utilization of fossil fuels, biomass and wastes and new energy (hydrogen, fuel cell, etc.).
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUAZHONG), has 8000 staff and hosts one of the 12 National research laboratories of China and 5 State Key Laboratories. The School of Energy & Power Engineering has 150 staff, 200 PhDs and hosts the Department of New Energy Science & Engineering. They have unique world-leading expertise in novel advanced thermal processing of wastes including pyrolysis/gasification developed to pilot and demonstration scale.
  • The University of Sydney, Australia (SYDNEY) is a top 50 world ranked university (QS Rankings) The University hosts the headquarters of the Australian Centre of Microscopy & Microanalysis and Australian Nano Institute including Nanocatalyst Research rated as “Outstanding performance well above world standard”. Our Australian partner has expertise in emerging catalytic technologies coupled with green chemical processes.
  • Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU), Shaanxi Province PR China has 5500 staff and more than 32,000 students with a well established faculty of engineering. They have a reputation for high quality research in the thermochemical process of wastes and biomass to produce premium grade fuels with a wide range of reactors up to pilot scale.
  • Southeast University (SEU), Nanjing, PR China, has 2,700 full-time teachers, including 1800 full or associate professors and more than 30,000 students including 14,000 postgraduate students.  Engineering research at the University brings expertise in wastes and biomass pyrolysis and gasifcation with a wide range of experimental reactors and advanced analytical capabilities
  • Hebei University of Technology (HUT) is a top university in Hebei Province in China, founded in 1903. The university provides high education in multi-disciplinary subjects in particular in Engineering areas. The university has 2577 staff and 23677 full time students including 6173 postgraduate students. Hebei University of Technology has agreement with more than 60 international universities in relation to the high education of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

2018 Symposium on Solid Waste & Biomass: Thermal Chemical Conversion – Xi’an, China

Project partner, Xi’an Jiaotong University will hold a workshop on7th -8th April 2018 in the areas of thermal conversion of wastes. Several scientists from Uuniversities of Leeds, Sheffiled, Hull, Hungary and other Eeuropean countries have confired to attend. Some scientists from different universities and industrial companies of China will attend.

Please contact Dr Ningbo Gao ( for more details.


Workshop on Pyrolysis and Gasification of wastes & Biomass attracts researchers from all over the world

A two-day workshop on the pyrolysis and gasification of wastes and biomass attracted ~30 researchers from all over the world. The workshop from 30-31 March 2017 was held at the University of Hull, UK and was organised by Dr Chunfei Wu, the lead FLEXI-PYROCAT researcher at the University of Hull. Delegates from academia and industry presented their work on the application of pyrolysis and gasification for the processing of wastes and biomass for the production of fuels, chemicals and materials.


Researchers from the partner Universities of the FLEXI-PYROCAT project were prominent, presenting their research from the project (from left to right- Dingding Yao (Huazhong University of Science & Technology, China); Paul Williams (University of Leeds, UK); Meng Liu (Southeast University, China); Norbert Miskolczi (University of Pannonia, Hungary); Ningbo Gao (Xi’an Jiaotong University, China); Meihong Wang (Sheffield University, UK); Chunfei Wu (Hull University, UK) Xiang Gou (Hebei University of Technology, China)).



Kelvin School students visit the University of Hull, March 2017

Kelvin - 02

A group of school students visited the University of Hull in March 2017 where Dr Chunfei Wu explained the FLEXI-PYROCAT project.  The outreach activity involved an explanation of the current practice of managing waste plastics in the European Union where large amounts of waste plastics are landfilled, or burnt in incinerators or exported out of the EU. This represents a waste of resource.  Dr Wu explained the importance of the research and innovation involved in the FLEXI-PYROCAT project and the aim of producing high value products from waste plastics in the form of hydrogen, carbon nanotubes, gasoline and chemicals.

Major outreach activity features FLEXI-PYROCAT at the 2017 Leeds Science Festival, UK



The 2017 Leeds Science Festival UK in March, featured the ‘Be Curious 2017’ event at the University of Leeds and attracted great interest from the public with interactive displays and presentations of research and innovation.  The theme of this year’s event was to highlight the benefits of research and innovation for the Leeds City area and Yorkshire.  Large crowds attended the event with exhibits from all departments within the University showcasing; improving lives in Yorkshire through science and engineering; how culture enriches lives in Leeds and Yorkshire; how climate change and water research benefits Leeds and Yorkshire; Leeds as a sustainable city; towards a healthier Yorkshire

The festival featured the FLEXI-PYROCAT project on recycling waste plastics to produce high value products. The exhibit highlighted how different waste plastics used in every-day objects can be recycled to produce valuable end-products such as carbon nanotubes, hydrogen or gasoline.  FLEXI-PYROCAT researchers were on hand to explain the research to the public highlighting the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action project and the exchange of early career and experienced researchers with partners in China and Australia.

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News in IChem Journal


The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is the global professional membership organisation for chemical engineering professionals and anyone involved with the process industries. The Chemical Engineer is the UKs Institution IChemE’s flagship publication – a long established magazine with a circulation in excess of 40,000 copies per issue. The magazine is freely available to members, covering the latest chemical engineering industry and research news from around the world, including in-depth articles, technical features and opinion-led pieces.

The November 2016 issue of the magazine featured the research arising from the FLEXI-PYROCAT Project highlighting the production of hydrogen and carbon nanotubes from waste plastics.