Description of the institution


Queen’s University Belfast is a public UK university and a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities. In the UK research assessment exercise QUB was recognised as internationally leading in catalysis and materials research. QUB is home of the world’s leading research centre for ionic liquids QUILL, two of the staff of QUILL were in the Thomson Reuters world’s top 100 chemists over the past 11 years as ranked by the impact of their published research.

Role in the project

Extraction from fermentation broths with task specific solvents. JDH has 16 years experience in synthesis and application of designer solvents.

Green Synthesis of new chemical products derived from bio-glycerol. ACM has 17 years experience in chemo and bio-catalysis for green and sustainable transformations.

PCM has 14 years experience in materials methods for improving separations and operation of bio and chemocatalysis; including EU FP-4 project SUPERPRO (1998 – 2001) separation of proteins for biocatalysis.

Key personnel

John D. Holbrey: lecturer; ionic liquids and green solvents. His interests centre on the development and exploitation of new green solvents for the dissolution, extraction and processing of materials. He has extensive experience in designing ionic liquids and aqueous biphasic systems for dissolution and extraction technologies (including processing of cellulosic biomass, desulfurisation of diesel fuels, and removal of mercury from natural gas) highlighted by the award of the US EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2005) and commercialisation, by PETRONAS, of the HycaPure HgTM ionic liquid process to remove mercury during natural gas production. Ranked #23 chemist in the world on citation impact over the period 2000-2010. Over 100 refereed papers and articles, 15 patents.

Andrew C. Marr: lecturer; green and sustainable chemical transformations. Studying the combination of whole cell catalysis and chemocatalysis in order to achieve the preparation
and isolation of high value products from fermentations. The sustainable chemical transformation of fermentation-derived alcohols, acids and esters are of pivotal importance to the exploitation of bio-renewable feedstocks, and ACM is developing new highly efficient chemical transformations and designing new catalysts that promote reactions including dehydrations, condensations, aminations, amidations and esterifications; UK expert on the exploitation of biomass-based platform chemicals; Gordon Green “Rising Star” 2010; editorial board of PLoS one. 26 publications, 2 patents.

Patricia C. Marr: fellow, 17 years experience in soft matter and gel chemistry; porous hybrid materials for entrapping bio- and chemo-catalysts; technological polymers; sol-gel and organogels; researcher on FP4 SUPERPRO applying polymer, surfactant and supercritical fluid technologies to biological and biocatalytic separations; developed ionic-liquid gel hybrids for catalysis ‘catalytic ionogels’; RCUK invited panel member and EPSRC expert referee for energy and materials. 17 papers.



  • Review of technical glycerol potential from biodiesel production and availability for improved cascading in Europe

    May 2, 2017

    The article entitled: “Review of technical glycerol potential from biodiesel production and availability for improved cascading in Europe” has been published and is available online. Authors: André Brosowski (DBFZ), Stephanie Hauschild (DBFZ), Karin Naumann (DBFZ), Jens Hösel (DBFZ), Daniela Thrän (Helmholtz Centre for environmental research), Type of publication: Article – Research Paper Date: April 2017 Publication: […]


  • 42M Progress Meeting – April 26 to 28, 2017 – Leipzig (Germany)

    April 11, 2017

    All the project partners will be hosted by DBFZ in Leipzig (Germany) from April 26 to 28, 2017. This is a good opportuny to discuss about the project advancement after the last Consortium Meeting which took place from October 12 to 14, 2016 in Hurtigruten, Bergen – Trondheim, Norway. Agenda available here: GRAIL_42M_Agenda     […]


  • GRAIL e-NEWSLETTER #5 – February 2017

    February 22, 2017

    PROJECT SUMMARY GRAIL : GLYCEROL BIOREFINERY APPROACH FOR THE PRODUCTION OF HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTS OF INDUSTRIAL VALUE GRAIL is a 48-months collaborative project funded by the European Commission, under the FP7 Programme for Knowledge Based Bio-Economy. The topic of GRAIL project is “Preventing and valorizing bio-waste in biorefineries optimal and cost-effective industrial biocatalysts”. What’s inside […]


  • D2-2 – Operating parameters for batch experiments

    January 5, 2017

    Main Objectives To provide information about operational parameters at batch configurations such as, the effect of inoculum, addition of nutrients, pH control and substrate concentration to improve hydrogen and ethanol production  Main Outcomes According to the results, the selected inoculum was sludge from an aerobic wastewater treatment plant and an aerobic pretreatment. Also, it was […]