Low Carbon Energy and Resources Technologies Research Group

Microwave Processing 

We are developing microwave heating technologies for process intensification,  production of new products and utilisation of sustainable feedstocks.

Our approach is based on understanding the interaction of microwaves with process materials, identifying the extent of selective and volumetric heating within the system and the subsequent heat transfer, mass transfer and kinetic pathways that occur as a result.

In many cases we identify unique products that can be produced when microwave heating is used; products which cannot be produced by conventional means.

We have access to a full suite of laboratory scale processing and characterisation equipment, and also high power hardware for pilot-scale investigation and processing. Our team have a track record of working with commercial partners to take concepts developed in our laboratory through the engineering scale-up process to industrial implementation. 

Continuous flow microwave treatment system for biomass processing

Research Areas

  • Biomass Valorisation

Our work is focussed on the use of microwave technologies to produce valuable products from sustainable biomass sources. Current products include prebiotics, functional food ingredients, platform chemicals and biopolymers. Feedstocks we have studied include spent grains, potato pulp, sugar beet, citrus peel, date pits, nut shells and forestry wastes. We use microwave heating for a range of processes from extraction, pyrolysis, pre-treatment and stabilisation. 

Environmental Technologies

We use microwave heating to reduce the complexity, footprint and energy requirements of process systems used for environmental applications. Examples include the development of continuous and containerised systems for offshore oil-field applications,  regeneration of spent adsorbents, treatment of contaminated soils and enhanced oil recovery systems.

Plastic Recycling

We are developing microwave technologies for plastics recycling, using thermal decomposition to either recycle plastics back to the original polymer, or produce oils and chemicals for use in the chemical industries.


Low Carbon Energy and Resources Technologies

Energy Technologies Building
The University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus, NG7 2TU

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 68661