Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action ITN GreenCarbon


MSCA ITN GreenCarbon logoThe EU Training Network for Advanced Carbon Materials from Biowaste, GreenCarbon, unites 15 partners, each of them being leading actors in developing sustainable pathways to drive innovative green technologies. The consortium is comprised of 7 universities, 2 research institutes and 6 companies which are spread over 5 different EU member states. The GreenCarbon project is coordinated by the University of Zaragoza and started on the 1st of October 2016 and will run until September 2020.




The energy crisis, environmental pollution and global warming are serious problems that are of great concern throughout the world. Around 40% of the world’s energy consumption is dedicated to the production of materials and chemicals. Thus, there is a need to develop high-performance materials based on renewable resources, simpler to synthesize and being more cost effective. Carbon materials derived from renewable resources (e.g., waste biomass) are ideal candidates to meet these needs.

MSCA ITN GreenCarbon fotoThe main objective of GreenCarbon is to develop new scientific knowledge, capability, technology, and commercial products for biomass-derived carbons (BCs); thus impacting the way that Europe uses and innovates with sustainable carbon materials. The research programme of GreenCarbon comprehensively covers all aspects from precursors (the nature of biomass) to processing (thermochemical conversion, porosity development, chemical functionalization) and application (e.g., CO2 capture, heterogeneous catalysis and chemicals from biomass) enabling a unique design of engineered sustainable BC materials.

At the same time, the training programme of GreenCarbon is designed with the aim to empower the ESRs through the provision of a comprehensive and coherent training package, which includes complementary competencies and knowledge in all the science, engineering and business skills so as to be capable of deploying new technologies within different environments both inside and outside of academia.


These are the objectives of GreenCarbon:
• To develop innovative concepts, technologies and methods for the production and application of waste biomass-derived functional carbon materials
• To train 14 ESRs in different aspects of functional carbon materials, ranging from technological innovations in tailor-made production (pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization, upgrading and functionalizing), physicochemical analysis and application and cascaded use of said materials in low carbon and clean technologies.
• To stimulate the EU-wide implementation of biomass-derived functional carbon materials through coordinated exploitation and dissemination of the research results.

Role of Ghent University

At Ghent University, specific attention will be paid to the fast pyrolysis of waste biomass streams for the coproduction of bio-oil (for energy purpose) and char (for upgrading to functional carbon materials). Mechanistic models (using fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer, and reaction kinetics) shall be developed that will enable to predict physicochemical properties of the pyrolysis char as a function of process conditions and feedstock properties. Said models will then be used to help in designing optimized processes for the production of char materials with targeted physicochemical properties (like C-content, proximate composition, porosity, surface functionalities,…).

Additional, a second ESR shall use advance stability assessment techniques for biochar and functional char materials. As such, fresh and especially spent functional carbon materials can be evaluated on their long-term C-stability and their potential use for long-term C-storage once applied in soils, in cascade use scenarios.



Prof. dr. ir. Frederik Ronsse
Department of Biosystems Engineering
Phone number: +32 9 264 62 00