Spotlight Feature – Andrea Bernardi
Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London.
I am a Research Fellow at the Sargent Centre for Process System Engineering at Imperial College London. I am a Chemical Engineer by training I received my PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Padova. My research interests are techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment of chemical processes, and supply chain optimisation.
At the UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Chemical Economy, I have been focusing on the chemical recycling of plastic waste and the sustainable production of platform chemicals, such as methanol and ethylene. Many of the technologies I am considering are at an early stage of development, and therefore mathematical models are needed to evaluate the process performances at scale. The models provide us with an estimate of the raw materials and energy inputs needed to run the process and we can use this information to assess the capital and operating costs of the plant, as well as the environmental impacts. The aim is to identify the trade-offs between the economic and environmental performances and define improvement targets for the novel circular processes to become competitive with the fossil-based alternatives.