MR MUHAMMAD AZAM
I am working on sustainable chemical pathways to convert waste plastics into useful products utilizing heterogeneous catalysis. Life cycle assessment, and process simulation is also a part or my research while working under the supervision of Dr Waheed Afzal.
- BSc Chemical Engineering2016 - University of the Punjab
- PhD Chemical Engineering2023 - University of Aberdeen
- MSc Health, Safety and Environment2018 - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Prizes and Awards
Won the best oral presentation award during CCST 2022
- Chemical Engineering
Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
Conversion of waste plastics to fuel and energy productsThe remarkable properties of plastics make them the most commonly used modern materialssince early twentieth century. Every year several hundreds of millions of tons of plasticsare produced globally. After their useful life, millions of tons of waste plastic end upin urban waste, including large quantities floating in world oceans and causing all kindof environmental problems.Conventional methods of waste plastic management include land filling and incineration.However, chemical recycling methods could be a much promising way forward. Hydrocrackingof waste plastic into liquid fuels and other value-added chemical products could be anadvantage. The quality and yield of the fuel obtained from plastics depend upon thefeedstock, reaction conditions and, above all, the catalyst. Different previouslypublished studies reported the suitability of metallicbased catalysts supported onmesoporous silicas, zeolites, aluminas, silica-aluminas, etc. These studies often lack thesuitability of the catalyst for a mixed plastic feed and catalyst recyclability. Thisproject aimsat engineering new bifunctional metal/solid acid catalysts that produce good-qualityliquid fuels and are robust for the range of mixed feedstock at relatively mildconditions. I am working on reaction engineering and chemistry and for experimental and theoretical work. The project also involves the design of catalysts, their physicochemicalcharacterization through various analytical methods (N2 physisorption to determinetextural characterisation, TGA, FTIR, XRD, etc), and test under reaction conditions in laboratory-scale reactors. The main goals of this project will be, thus, to develop cost-effective heterogeneous catalysts with exceptional performance for the hydrocrackingof plastics, understand the behaviour of the catalysts, study the reaction mechanisms and kinetics involved and, based on this knowledge, perform kinetic modelling." I am planning to bring my passion for developingsustainable useful chemicals and my broader vision of advancing technologies which help meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
I strategically sought out research opportunities which focused on developing technologies for producing greener fuels to reduce society’s reliance on fossil fuels and to help address the environmental impact of our modern energy systems. Specifically, most of my research experience has been in developing (i.e. Sol- gel method, hydrothermal method etc.), characterizing (i.e. XRD,RAMAN, FESEM, HR-TEM, BET, N2 adsorption-desorption, UV-visible, PL spectroscopy, and XPS analysis), and testing catalysts (namely photo catalysts) for both slurry and gas-phasereactions and through utilizing different reactor assemblies and engineering approaches to produce: (i) renewable hydrogen which is considered as a clean fuel with high combustionefficiency; and (ii) syngas which is used to produce hydrogen for the Haber process.
Funding and Grants
Leverhulme Trust Awards