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I am a graduate student in Western University and I have been working with bio-oil upgrading for two years. Two years ago, I got my bachelor’s degree in food science and technology in China. With a dream in green fuel and energy, I entered Dr. Charles (Chunbao) Xu’s group in the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) and started my bio-oil exploration journey.

Photo blog Cheng

I have participated in the Advanced Biofuels Symposium (ABS) meeting organized by BioFuelNet Canada twice, one was in Ottawa in 2014, and the other one in Montreal (July 22-24, 2015). BioFuelNet is an amazing organization; it offers a platform for all the scientists in Canada with ambition and faith in developing green energy from alternative resources. Through BioFuelNet, I met people from different universities and institutions working in various fields, such as algae, woody biomass, agricultural waste, and even waste-water. Personally, I was really excited about the conference session, especially when people were interested in my research, as I could share my achievements in person and obtain some new ideas from my peers.

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Advanced Biofuels Symposium 2015 participants

Currently, I am working on bio-oil upgrading process by developing some novel inexpensive catalysts and testing their activities using a wood-derived bio-oil. I am very glad that I can make my small, yet significant, contribution to this area. Our objective is to remove the oxygen content of the oil and improve its quality and stability, to finally obtain oil products that are comparable to petroleum-derived fossil fuel. The most difficult part in this research is finding a suitable catalyst that is both active and inexpensive.

I realize that there is still a long way to go in finding a method to industrialize and commercialize bio-oil. As a researcher, I have faith in what I am doing and I believe that it will contribute in achieving this goal.

Cheng Guo, Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR), Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A 3K7

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