Our Partners

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horizon 2020 partners

ABC-Salt’s project co-ordinator is The University of Groningen (RUG). Founded in 1614, it is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands as well as one of the largest. Since its inception more than 100,000 students have graduated. The RUG has nine faculties, 27 research centres and institutes, and more than 175 degree programmes. The research group of Heeres, the partner in this consortium, is embedded in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and is a member of the ENTEG institute. The research group is active in the development of novel catalytic chemistry and reactor concepts for catalytic processes with a strong emphasis on the conversion of (lignocellulosic) biomass to energy, biofuels and biobased (performance) chemicals. The scientific members of the group have diverse backgrounds ranging from catalytic reaction engineering, heterogeneous catalysis, and micro reactor technology. In addition, advanced analytical tools for characterisation of complex bioliquids have been developed. 



Prof. Dr. ir. H.J. Heeres (Erik)

Project Coordinator  


H.J. (Erik) Heeres carried out his Ph.D. research at the University of Groningen on the development of novel homogeneous lanthanide catalysts for the conversion of unsaturated hydrocarbons and graduated in 1990. Heeres joined the chemical engineering department of the University of Groningen in 1999 as an assistant professor. In 2003 he was appointed here as a full professor in green chemical reaction engineering. 

His research interests concern the development of efficient catalytic technology for acid- and metal-based catalytic biomass conversions, with an emphasis on biofuels (catalytic pyrolysis, pyrolysis oil upgrading), platform chemicals (levulinic acid, hydroxymethylfurfural) and performance materials from biomass (starch modifications). The group is actively involved in national and international consortia. Heeres (h-index: 49, WOS) is the (co-) author of more than 200 papers in international peer reviewed journals and 12 patents in the field of (applied) catalysis and chemical reaction engineering. Heeres is a member of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen and an associate editor of the journal Fuel Processing Technology.


Dr. Ir. Jos G. M. Winkelman

Senior Scientist


Jos Winkelman carried out his PhD research at the University of Groningen on the industrial manufacturing of formaldehyde. Since 1991 he has been working as a chemical technology consultant with both public sector authorities and with the private sector. At the same time he also held functions at the Office of the University and at the Department of Chemical Engineering, being involved in the development and implementation as well as the management and execution of research projects on a wide range of chemical technology topics. He lectures engineering courses at the University of Groningen. Since 2018 he is involved full time with the Department of Chemical Engineering. 

Aston University is a research-led university with a well-established history, renowned for its world class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce. Located in Birmingham, UK, Aston University focuses on high quality, exploitable research that has the potential to have a positive impact on the real world around us.

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) is part of Aston University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and has a world-leading academic and research team working on bioenergy research and technology development. This research excellence is combined with a professional team in place to ensure bioenergy opportunities can be realised by business, industry, organisations and local authorities.

EBRI acts as a focus for worldwide activities on scientific and technological aspects of biomass production, conversion and utilisation of products for renewable power, heat, transport fuels, hydrogen and chemicals. It works to extract the maximum value from all types of biomass, including waste resources. EBRI’s team of internationally-renowned researchers focuses on methods of generating energy, fuels and chemicals from biomass, wastes and residues, with a strong focus on all pyrolysis technologies, including feedstock pre-treatment and characterisation and well as catalytic upgrading of pyrolysis liquids.

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Prof. Tony Bridgwater

Senior Scientific Advisor


Professor Tony Bridgwater is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Aston University in Birmingham, specialising in thermal conversion of biomass for production of fuels and chemicals. He obtained his first degree in Chemical Engineering from UMIST followed by several years working for BP in Sunbury.  Most of his professional career has been spent at Aston University where he leads the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) and Bioenergy Research Group within EBRI. Tony’s current interests are focused on the development of fast pyrolysis of biomass and the fuel and chemical products that can be derived from the liquids.  He plays a key role in several major EC funded projects focusing on bioenergy, biofuels and biorefineries.  Tony has been actively involved in bioenergy for over 25 years and have published extensively


Dr Daniel J. Nowakowski

Work Package 7 Leader


Dr Daniel Nowakowski (PhD, MSc, Eng., MIChemE; Lecturer in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry)  joined Aston University in 2007. He is an expert in variety of research areas including: analytical pyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction, thermochemical and physical properties of biomass and natural polymers as well as characterisation of inorganic matter in biomass and bio-chars. His current research activities at EBRI are mainly associated with hydrothermal liquefaction of algal biomass and catalytic upgrading of pyrolysis liquids. Dr Nowakowski is a WP7 leader and coordinates all research tasks assigned to Aston University within the ABC-Salt consortium.


Pippa Try

Promotion and Dissemination Officer


Pippa Try has worked at the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University since 2017, focusing exclusively on the promotion, dissemination and exploitation of Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation projects. She brings project management, event organisation, marketing and content development skills to support ABC-Salt’s outreach activities. 

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Miss Regina Siu

PhD Research Student


Regina Siu graduated from Aston University in 2018 with an honours degree in Chemical Engineering. During her Masters project, she studied thermal liquefaction of algal feedstock for the production of biofuels and value-added chemicals. During her industrial placement year at Aston University, Regina spent one year (2015-2016) with BTG Bioliquids B.V. (Enschede, the Netherlands). In October 2018 Regina joined
the ABC-Salt consortium as a PhD research student under the supervision of Dr Daniel Nowakowski and Prof. Tony Bridgwater. Her research work will address tasks in WP3 and WP4.

Biomass Technology Group BV (BTG) is a private company (SME) of consultants, researchers and engineers specialised in the sustainable energy production from biomass and waste. The company has a staff of some 30 people. Started in 1979 as specialists on R&D, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of gasifiers systems, BTG‘s expertise covers a broad variety of thermal bioenergy conversion technologies (pyrolysis, hydro-treating, gasification, supercritical gasification, torrefaction, combustion, liquefaction, carbonisation).  They have extensive experience and a strong involvement in European bio-energy research, demonstration and development (RD&D) programs, in particular related to biomass pyrolysis, oil hydrogenation and gasification. The BTG lab is well suited to undertake all necessary activities pertaining biomass vapours and bio-based liquid hydro-deoxygenation, process integration and lab scale pilot plant operation.

Dr Robbie Venderbosch

Work Package 5 Leader


Robbie Venderbosch (M), PhD, senior R&D process engineer, is an expert in thermal biomass conversion technologies. He studied chemical engineering at TU Delft and received his PhD at the University of Twente. Venderbosch has expertise and responsibilities in the field of engineering and implementation of fluidized bed system coupled with chemical reactions, bioenergy processes (from concept to detailed design), construction and operation of lab/pilot/demo set-ups, electrochemical conversion processes and process instrumentation/control (both software and hardware). 

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) is a research oriented university with 5200 students and 1700 staff educating mainly MSc and PhD candidates. The Faculty of Science and Technology employs around 200 permanent research staff and has around 1200 registered students. The research group for renewable energy technology spans activities such as biogas, solar energy, and molten salt technology.

This research group at NMBU operates a dedicated laboratory for molten salt research. Their experience in molten salt technology is well documented through a series of peer reviewed publications, projects sponsored by the research council of Norway and education of successful PhD candidates.


heidi nygard

Associate Prof. Dr Heidi Nygard

Work Package 3 leader & Researcher


Heidi S. Nygård got her PhD at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) by working on the conversion of biomass to liquid in molten salts, providing valuable insights towards the building of the ABC-Salt project. Since 2015 she is working as a post-doc researcher at NMBU in the field of CO2 capture in molten salts. She has published 11 publications in refereed journals, amongst which 5 are focusing on the conversion of biomass to liquids. In ABC-Salt, she will be working as a researcher and lead WP3.

espen olsen

Prof. Espen Olsen



Espen Olsen, MSc, PhD, Professor of physics, at NMBU from 2008 in the fields of photovoltaics and molten salt technologies. 28 published articles in refereed journals, amongst which 16 specifically on molten salt technology. Previous position: Senior Scientist at SINTEF (1995-2008). He is trained as project manager with experience in managing projects of up to 3M€.

Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass (TCCB) research group is a relatively young research unit formed in 2008 at Ghent University. Research is centered on the development and optimization of thermochemical conversion technologies to renewable fuels, chemicals and energy from biomass. Regarding the thermochemical conversion technologies, research is devoted to fast pyrolysis, catalytic fast pyrolysis and hydropyrolysis for the production of liquid biofuels and chemical intermediates, to slow pyrolysis for the production of biochar and to torrefaction as a biomass pretreatment unit operation. 

Other technologies of interest include hydrothermal conversion technologies, torrefaction, gasification and post-conversion treatment of bio-oil, which includes upgrading and fractionation. The TCCB research group is also part of the UGent MRP (multidisciplinary research platform) ‘Biotechnology for a sustainable economy’ and plays a key role in studying production technologies of biochar out of agricultural and biorefinery residues.


Prof. Frederik Ronsse

Work Package 4 Leader


Prof. dr. Frederik Ronsse is the leader of the Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass research group at the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology (Ghent University). He is responsible for managing a team with expertise in developing and optimizing biomass thermochemical conversion processes, which include fast and slow pyrolysis, gasification, torrefaction and hydrothermal liquefaction. His research field also concerns process engineering with respect to multiphase flow analysis, including fluidisation, technology of granular matter and powders, study of heat and mass transfer. Additionally, modelling techniques including Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Population Balance Modelling (PBM) using Monte Carlo solving techniques.


Prof. Wolter Prins

Senior Scientific Advisor for Work Package 4 


Prof. dr. ir. Wolter Prins is currently professor emeritus at the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ghent University, where he established the Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass research group in 2008. Wolter Prins received his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Groningen and his doctoral degree from the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. Since 1992, he has combined his work at the University with a position as head of R&D in BTG Biomass Technology Group BV in Enschede. He has published around a hundred papers in the area of novel gas-solid reactors, heat and mass transfer in fluidized beds, and thermochemical conversion of biomass. He participated in the European Network for Pyrolysis (Pyne) for many years, and was invited by NEDO and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to present his work in Japan and China respectively.

DLR is the national aeronautics and space research center of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. 

Research efforts of the Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics (DLR-TT) with its 175 staff members are focused on efficient energy conversion and storage with low environmental impact, and on the improvement and acceleration of the use of renewable energy sources. The scientific spectrum includes electrochemical, thermochemical and thermal energy technologies covering the full range from functional materials, development and design of components to system integration.


Dr.-Ing. Ralph-Uwe Dietrich

Techno-Economic Evaluation & LCA Tasks Leader


Dr.-Ing. Ralph-Uwe Dietrich leads the research area Alternative Fuels at the Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart. He is responsible for the research group on techno economic and ecologic evaluation of alternative fuels for aviation and global transport.  Uwe received his PhD in Engineering at the Technical University Clausthal in 2013 as a Scientific coworker at the Clausthaler Umwelttechnik Institute (CUTEC-Institut GmbH). Before that, he got 15 years of project manager experience at different enterprises (SME and Fortune 500) of the process and automation industry.


Dipl. Ing. Stefan Estelmann



Stefan Estelmann is research associate in the group Alternative Fuels at the Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart. His research area is the process simulation and techno economic assessment of renewable fuels for aviation and global transport. He studied environmental engineering with the specialization process engineering at the University of Brunswick and graduated in 2016.


Dipl. Ing. Sandra Adelung



Sandra Adelung is a research associate in the group Alternative Fuels at the Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart. Her work focuses on syngas production via reverse water-gas shift reaction and techno-economic assessment of alternative fuels production routes for aviation and global transport. She studied process engineering at the University of Stuttgart and graduated in 2015.


RISE is the Swedish Research Institute and innovation partner. In international collaboration with industry, academia and the public sector, we ensure the competitiveness of the business community and contribute to a sustainable society. Our 2,300 employees support and promote all manner of innovative processes. RISE is an independent, state-owned research institute that offers unique expertise and about 100 testbeds and demonstration facilities, instrumental in future-proofing technologies, products and services. In 2016, the former institutes of Innventia, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Swedish ICT merged to form RISE. We have a long history of acknowledged high-quality research.

Maria Sedin

Dr Maria Sedin


Maria Sedin has been employed as Senior Research Associate at RISE Bioeconomy since 2013. She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering Design and has previously been working at universities with solid-liquid separation and physico-chemical data estimation. Maria’s main research areas at RISE Bioeconomy are lignin and tissue paper.

Jan Rosdahl

Jan Rosdahl


Jan Rosdahl is a Senior Research Associate at RISE Bioeconomy. He holds a PhD in chemistry and is specialized in inorganic chemistry. His main research area is solution and solid-state chemistry of materials and he has previously performed research at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and AstraZeneca, Södertälje.

Sapienza University of Rome, established in 1303, is today the largest Italian, and probably European, University with about 120,000 students, 11 Faculties, 63 Departments, and about 8,000 researchers (including professors, researchers, technicians, PhD students).

The Inter-University Centre for Research in Environmental Psychology (CIRPA), established in 2005, aims to promote and develop in Italy the field of Environmental Psychology, by networking into one consortium all main Italian Universities where interests in environmental psychological research are more consilidated (initially Rome Sapienza, Padua and Cagliari, and subsequently Roma3, LUMSA and Naples Federico II too) .


Prof. Marino Bonaiuto

Task 2.5 Leader


Prof. Dr. Marino Bonaiuto is Director of CIRPA – the Interuniversity Research Centre in Environmental Psychology – as well as the President of the Master in Psychology of communication and marketing, at Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy. His interests in environmental psychology focus on both how environmental features affects people, and viceversa how people behaviour impacts the environment.  These topics cover issues regarding both mitigation and adaptation within people-environment dynamics. He received his PhD in Social and developmental psychology at Sapienza Università di Roma; Marino then worked at the University of Surrey (Guildford, UK) and then came back to Sapienza Università di Roma where he has spent most of his academic career. Additionally, he worked as a consultant for companies (National SME and Multinational groups), as well as within projects for local, regional, national or supranational Institutions, on topics dealing with HR, communication, sustainability.


Ms. Federica Dessi 

Task 2.5 Collaborator 


Ms Federica Dessi holds a Masters degree in the Psychology of Communication and Marketing, from Sapienza University of Rome. She is currently a PhD student at the Department of Psychology of Development and Socialization Processes, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), where she collaborates at CIRPA – the Interuniversity Research Center in Environmental Psychology: she is involved in activities related to the EC H2020 project ABC-Salt, specifically for Task 2.5 (sdocio-economic evaluation on the acceptance of biomass conversion in molten salts) under the supervision of Prof. Marino Bonaiuto.


Mr Andrea Augusto La Bella 

Task 2.5 Collaborator 


Andrea Augusto La Bella graduated in the Master course Psychology of communication and marketing, at Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). He is a trainee at the Department of Psychology of Development and Socialization Processes, Sapienza University of Rome, where he collaborates at CIRPA (Interuniversity Centre of Research in Environmental Psychology): he is involved in the activities related to the EC H2020 project ABC-Salt, specifically for Task 2.5 (Socio-economic evaluation on the acceptance of biomass conversion in molten salts) under the supervision of Prof. Marino Bonaiuto.

Nuccio Ludovico

Mr Nuccio Ludovico

Task 2.5 Collaborator 


With an MSc in Psychology of Communication and Marketing, Nuccio Ludovico is currently a student of a Double PhD Degree Program in Social Psychology, supervised by Sapienza University of Rome and University of Groningen. He is involved in activities focused on Stakeholder Mapping for a socio-economic evaluation on the acceptance of biofuel, related to the ABC-Salt (Task 2.5). His work is under the supervision of Prof. Marino Bonaiuto.

He investigates beliefs disseminated in OSN (Online Social Networks) using SNA and Computational Text Analysis techniques on user generated contents.

As a member of the Scientific Board in the Nahima Foundation, he is the contact point and reference for Social Sciences in the foundation’s projects. In 2016 and 2017 respectively, he achieved a research scholarship at Claremont Graduate University (CA) and research fellowship at IE Business School of Madrid. His research projects concerned audience perception towards Sharing Economy organizations and Stigma formation on the banking industry.

Here at Ayming we have 30 years’ experience improving businesses’ operational and financial performance. Drawing on our international expertise, we go the extra mile to realise opportunities to improve your business’ financial and operational performance.  

Our focus is to get to know your people, understand your business, and ultimately maximise your profits, operations and funding through services which deliver long-term value and benefits. Knowledge and innovation are at the heart of what we do.  

We offer a range of consultancy and advisory services, covering procurement and supply chain, operational efficiency, R&D tax credits, innovation grant funding, VAT and working capital.

Sophie Ablott-Ayming

Sophie Ablott.

Project Manager Officer


Sophie Ablott holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Project Management. She has a sound knowledge of European and international funding environment and institutions and 15+ years of experience in proposal writing,  negotiation and coordination of EU/international collaborative projects and public/private partnerships. She has worked for ACIES Consulting Group, Institut Pasteur Paris, bioMérieux and joined Ayming in October 2018 as an experienced consultant within the Funding and Innovation Performance Business Line, Grant & Partnership Department.

She will provide support to the ABC-Salt’s Project Coordinator, Consortium and WP8 Project Management activities.

This project has received funding
 from the European Union’s Horizon
2020’s research and innovation
programme under grant agreement
number 764089

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