Turning Textile Waste into Biofuel Hot Topic for Azam

“The pattern of energy use in transportation must change within the coming years to reduce the consumption of petroleum and also address some critical environmental issues. For example, bioethanol, as a replacement for transportation fuel, is produced from sugar and starch containing materials. However, even by “emptying the stomach” and conversion all crops to ethanol, just around 40 percent of the global gasoline consumption can be replaced by this ethanol.
On the other hand, using waste as feedstock for generating bio-fuels, power, and other value added products, will have a great impact on waste management issues, reducing the pollutions generated by the waste streams, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and thus, the GHG emissions as well. Waste textiles are making up 2-5 percent of the municipal solid waste in different countries. For instance, according to my calculations, the Swedish waste textiles hold the potential of providing bio-ethanol for 23000 cars, on a yearly basis. In my doctoral thesis I have tried to identify the main challenges and difficulties of using waste textiles as raw material for bio-ethanol and biogas production. Then some of the possible solutions were suggested and investigated by experimental analyses”, she says.

Continued research and teaching

Azam Jeihanipour origins from Iran. When she did her master project at the Isfahan University of Technology in Iran her supervisor was professor Mohammad Taherzadeh at the School of Engineering, University of Borås. She was accepted to continue the studies in biotechnology with professor Mohammad Taherzadeh’s research group. There she changed direction, from focusing only on biotechnology to waste recovery.

“After doing my master project in biotechnology, it was very interesting for me to work with something “alive”, and I decided to stay in this field. But the subject of my doctoral project was suggested by Mohammad and it included something more than biotechnology, like waste recovery by biotechnology.

After the dissertation she will continue to work with Professor Mohammad Taherzadeh’s group for a few months. After that she will return to Iran and works as a researcher and teacher in a university in Tehran or Isfahan.

“I want to continue research in “bio-energy from waste”. I have learned a lot about sustainable development during my doctoral studies and it is my dream to see a sustainable waste management system in Iran, like the one you have in Sweden. And of course I also want to stay in touch with my contacts at the University of Borås, Chalmers, and the SLU to be able to work in a network and have scientific communication with people who are experts in this field”.

Title of the thesis: Waste Textiles Bioprocessing to Ethanol and Biogas 
Dissertation at Chalmers University of Technology on May 2, 2011
Time: 13:00
Place: KS101-salen, Kemigården 4, Chalmers, Göteborg
Opponent: Karin Øyaas