George Parku studied Chemical Engineering at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), where he investigated the conversion of plastic wastes into fuels and other useful chemicals via pyrolysis. As part of his study, he also played a lead role in the design and commissioning of a 5 kg/h pyrolysis pilot plant that converts plastics, biomass and other carbonaceous wastes into useful pyrolysis products. George also spent a short period of time conducting research on Life-Cycle Assessment of pyrolysis conversion processes at the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ) in Leipzig, Germany.
For his PhD studies, George is focusing on an aspect of biomass valorisation, which include the investigation of a fractionated pyrolysis condensation system with the objective to optimise the quality of the low temperature, aqueous pyrolysis condensates to be used as substrate for downstream microbial conversion. This will employ the extension of a phase equilibria model (previously developed in the research group to describe pyrolysis condensates), to help predict optimised conditions. Also being investigated is the water extraction of sugars derivatives (which have also been of specific interest regarding their use as carbon source by microorganisms) from organic pyrolysis condensates recovered from biomass pyrolysis. This has further prompted the need in inspecting the efficiency of the use of several applicable quench media (such as ethylene glycol, liquid nitrogen, ethanol, etc.) in recovering products of interest from pyrolysis condensates in the fractionated condensation system.
- German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Green Talents International Award for High Potentials in Sustainable Development (2018). https://www.greentalents.de/awardees_awardees2018_george-kofi-parku.php
- Thermochemical processing of biomass and other carbonaceous wastes
- Thermodynamic modelling of pyrolysis condensates
- Life-Cycle assessments of thermochemical conversion processes
- Pyrolysis setups design
- Valorization of process waters from thermochemical biomass conversion by fermentation (ValProWa) (031B0673A, Federal Ministry of Education and Science Germany (BMBF))