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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

Ms Maria Ramos Suarez 

Postgraduate research student

Ms Maria Ramos Suarez's photo

Maria Ramos Suarez is researching on value added chemicals production from organic wastes.

My research is improving microbial volatile fatty acid production from organic waste to reduce pollution and fossil fuel dependency

Maria graduated from a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Chemical Engineering at The University of Cadiz (UCA), Spain, and specialised in bioprocess engineering. During her studies, she collaborated with the Analysis and Design of Processes with Supercritical Fluids group (UCA), the Food Engineering and Technology group (UCA), and the Biorefinery Engineering group at The University of Manchester (UoM) on various projects. She carried out her Master's dissertation on bioethanol production from sunflower stalks using ionic liquids (UoM/UCA).

Currently, she is working on her PhD project at The University of Southampton as part of the CDT in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems. The project is partially funded by Fiberight Ltd. The aim of this project is to minimise the amount of organic waste sent to landfill within the Fiberight process which has been developed to treat mixed municipal solid waste. The PhD project involves subjecting biodegradable organic solids to enzymatic pretreatment and subsequent acidogenic fermentation to produce volatile fatty acids (VFAs). These VFAs can subsequently be used as feedstock or building blocks for other biological and chemical applications. These microbial VFA can potentially replace VFA sourced from oil refineries, helping gain independence from the fossil fuel economy.

Maria has been actively involved in public engagement and science communication, having won the runner up prize of the School of Engineering Three Minutes Thesis competition for two consecutive years (2019 and 2020).

Research interests

Acidogenic fermentation and anaerobic digestion of organic wastes for volatile fatty acids, hydrogen and methane production. Chemical, physical and biological pretreatments for bioprocessing of wastes and biomass. Wastewater treatment technology.

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Ms Maria Ramos Suarez
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom
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