Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Professor Graeme Millar
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering


As the world transitions from fossil fuels to biomass based fuels there is a corresponding drive to create new technologies to enable this situation to come to fruition.

Biofuels represent one option in terms of mitigating the impacts of global warming. 

The conversion of biomass to biofuels typically requires a catalyst.  Many different materials have been investigated, with zeolites showing considerable promise.

However, zeolite catalysts can be expensive and thus there is a challenge to create new catalysts which are low cost.

This project concerns the design, synthesis, shaping and testing of novel catalysts sourced in Australia. 




Research activities

This project involves:

  • Activation/modification of zeolite materials
  • Hydrothermal synthesis of zeolite catalysts
    • Analysis of solids
    • Analysis of solutions
  • Creation of agglomerates, extrudates and beads
  • Testing using different catalysts, temperature and time
  • Process design of synthesis system
  • Process design of catalyst use 



New, highly active, low cost catalyst for biofuel production

Formation of catalyst as an engineered shape suitable for industry use

Techneconomics of zeolite synthesis

Technoeconomics of zeolite application 


Skills and experience

  • Interest in solving environmental issues
  • Some knowledge of chemistry
  • Some knowledge of process engineering
  • Some knowledge in techno-economics 


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact the supervisor for more information.