Award win for student biofuel research

Congratulations to Jiacheng Sun, PhD student at the School of Geosciences, for scooping the "Research with Impact" category in the Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland 2022.

Green Gown Awards ceremony 2022

Winners were announced at the Green Gown Awards Ceremony which took place on 8 November 2022 at Loughborough University.

We are delighted to share the news that University of Edinburgh student, Jiacheng Sun, won the "Research with Impact - Student" category.

The University was highly commended in the "Money for Good" category for our Community Grants.

Odara Medagedara, a University of Edinburgh student, was a finalist in the "Sustainability Champion - Student" category.

Showcasing our 2022 Winners, Highly Commended and Finalists | Green Gown Awards [external] 

Our mission is to deliver positive impact for society, by discovering, developing and sharing knowledge. The University is committed to supporting a lower-carbon, healthier, more sustainable and equitable future. The Green Gown Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the efforts of our staff and students to help us achieve this.

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor

Research with Impact - Student: winner

Jiacheng Sun, School of Geosciences, PhD student

The judges were impressed by the exceptional application and the research significance. A very impressive application with exciting future potential.

Jiacheng Sun

Burning fossil fuels is a major driver of the climate crisis. Meanwhile, waste from human activities can negatively affect ecosystems, contributing to the nature crisis.

Jiacheng's research addresses both aspects: climate-friendly energy production, and circular resource use.

By developing technology using fast-growing micro- and macro-algae (like seaweed) to generate heat, this research could pave the way to an alternative to fossil fuels.

An added bonus is that leftover material from the process, “biochar”, can be used to improve soil safely. This is also a form of carbon storage.

Another exciting potential use for biochar is as a material in batteries and supercapacitor electrodes, due to its electrochemical performance. Battery energy storage is becoming all the more important as on-demand fossil fuels are replaced with solar and wind, which have varying peak output times.

Not only is this system better for the environment, but offering value throughout helps reduce costs and makes it a competitive commercial product.

Green Gown Awards: Jiacheng Sun [external]

Top three learnings from Jiacheng

  1. I propose a green bioenergy strategy to mitigate climate change.
  2. I have integrated third-generation biofuel production and biochar-based carbon capture & storage solution into one system.
  3. I have contributed to a gap between research and practical markets.

Jiacheng was a Climate Innovation Grant recipient.

Eight projects supported by the Derek and Maureen Moss Student Climate Innovation Grants 2021

Highly commended and finalist achievements

What are the Green Gown Awards?

The Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the world.

Past recognition