Katarzyna Anna Jagodzinska
Can we produce valuable materials from waste?
That is the question driving my PhD research. My PhD journey started with the process of biomass' thermal pre-treatment, called torrefaction. This process aims to produce either fuel with similar characteristics to coal (thus being able to replace coal in existing power plants) or biochar, an agricultural fertiliser. However, my main concern was the overall perspective on the process products - not just those valuable ones but also by-products considered as wastes. How can they be utilised?
In 2019, I joined the NEW-MINE project, which investigates the feasibility of the Enhanced Landfill Mining concept. The concept includes the excavation of old landfills with subsequent material and energy recovery from dug up waste. Our subjects of interest are the landfills predating the Landfill Directory from 1999 and thus posing a considerable risk of groundwater and soil pollution due to lack of any environmental protection technology.
The majority of excavated waste is non-recyclable due to their age. Therefore, they are subjected to energy recovery processes. My research focuses on one of those processes. More specifically, I am exploring the possibility of producing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and hydrogen-rich gas from those non-recyclable excavated waste. To do so, I subject them to catalytic pyrolysis using the easily-accessible and low-cost catalysts to improve the installation's economic feasibility. More information on the NEW-MINE project and my research can be found on new-mine.eu.
Originally from Poland, I studied Environmental Protection in Power Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology before starting my PhD at KTH.