Ciaran Lahive is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Green Chemical Reaction Engineering Research Group within the Engineering and Technology Institute Groningen (ENTEG) at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). Ciaran’s background is in organic and pharmaceutical chemistry (BSc Hons – The Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds – University Collage Cork, Ireland) and in green and sustainable chemistry (PhD on the Catalytic Depolymerisation of Lignin – The University of St. Andrews, UK). His research interests and expertise concern the efficient processing of biomass and the sustainable production of chemicals from biomass.

He is visiting Surrey this summer to initiate a new collaboration with Dr Madeleine J. Bussemaker (The Sonochemistry Ultrasonics Research Group) on a series of projects entitled “Sounding out ultrasonic effects on lignin extraction and modification”. Efficient and sustainable processing of biomass for the production of high-value chemicals for applications in such things as polymers and pharmaceuticals is a key enabling strategy as society strives to reduce its dependence on fossil-derived chemicals and transitions towards renewable, sustainable carbon sources. This research will probe the use of ultrasound to tackle the valorisation of one of nature’s most abundant but recalcitrant biopolymers; lignin.