Sustainability and materials group, AMIBM
The “Sustainability and materials group” is part of the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM). AMIBM is a European, cross-border, research institute focusing on the development of advanced biobased materials. AMIBM designs, creates and translates biobased molecules, processes and materials into applications that outperform in functionality and sustainability for better living.
Our Vision: The AMIBM vision is to provide the missing links between fundamental, applied and translational research in the field of biobased materials, by changing the relationship between the production of biobased materials and the value chain. This will be achieved by developing an integrated, interdisciplinary research program focusing on novel strategies to produce advanced biobased materials and chemical building blocks in a sustainable and economical manner, and to develop these novel materials into innovative products for technical and medical applications.
Our Mission: AMIBM has a clear mission statement: ‘to design, create and translate biobased molecules, processes and materials into applications that outperform in functionality and sustainability for better living’.
Our Expertise: Performing, evaluating and interpreting Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) by investigating the environmental, as well as economic and social, impacts of materials, processes, and systems to support decision-makers in universities, companies, and governments.
Our team: A multidisciplinary team consisting of sustainability researchers with various backgrounds over the value chain.
Prof Dr Yvonne van der Meer (Y.)
Professor & group head Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials
Yvonne van der Meer is Professor Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She is scientific vice-director of the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials and member of the Educational Program Committee of the Master Biobased Materials. She is also scientific coordinator of Biobased Value Circle, a European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Industrial Doctorate program. She leads the Sustainable Research pillar of the Sustainable UM2030 program and she is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Group of the York Maastricht Partnership.
Yvonne leads a research group with two assistant professors, two postdocs and five PhDs. The mission of her research team is to provide appropriate methods, indicators, tools and accurate sustainability assessments to support the transition from a linear and fossil-based to a circular and biobased economy. Her group’s teaching program includes biobased materials, process technology, circular economy and sustainability courses in the bachelors Maastricht Science Program, Business Engineering, Circular Engineering and the Master Biobased Materials.
Since 2022, she is president of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society KNCV. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU). In addition, she is a member of the Circular Investments, Innovations and Applications team of the Chemelot Circular Hub and a member of the Brightlands Science Advisory Board.
Yvonne has been working in sustainable chemistry for over 20 years. She is an experienced manager and a scientist with a passion for sustainability. She has a talent for strategy and translating strategic goals into successful activities where she knows how to connect different parties in collaborative projects with a positive sustainability impact.
Dr Ali Ghannadzadeh (A.)
• PhD in Process and Environmental Engineering; Université de Toulouse, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, France
• MSc in Petrochemicals, Polymers and Plastics; IFP (Institut Français du Pétrole) School, France
Current Research Projects:
CurCol: Curcumin-based sustainable colours; AMIBM, The Netherlands
Past Research Projects:
• BM2C6: Developing a New Value Chain from Biomass to C6 Polymers; AMIBM, The Netherlands
• BOTLEK: Biobased Development of Thermochemistry for Levulinate Esters and Ketals; AMIBM, The Netherlands
• PACK-CE: Recyclable Multilayer Food Packaging for a Circular Economy; AMIBM, The Netherlands
• A Comparative LCA of Electricity Generation Systems: Hydrogen vs. Fossil Fuels; University of Ulsan, South Korea
• LCA / Exergy Analysis / Combined Pinch and Exergy Analysis of Ammonia, Ethylene (a, b), Ethylene Oxide (a, b), Chlorine–Caustic Soda (a, b, c), Ethylene Dichloride–Vinyl Chloride, and Polyol Ether Production Processes; Hamedan University of Technology, Iran
• Hydrogen Production via Direct Thermal Cracking of Methane (a, b) under Leadership of Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Carlo Rubbia; Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
• General Methodology for Exergy Balance in a Process Simulator; ProSim S.A., France
• A New Cogeneration Targeting Model for Site Utility Systems; The University of Manchester, UK
Dr Pranav Nakhate
Accomplished Ph.D. (Tech.) Chemical Engineer with experience in leading and managing interdisciplinary R & D projects aimed at the development of cost-efficient and sustainable hybrid processes for wastewater treatment and Sustainability assessment.
1. Sustainability Assessment of product, process or system on a lifecycle basis using GaBi and
2. Sustainability reporting
3. Environmental impact assessment
4. Research & Development of hybrid processes for cost-efficient wastewater treatment.
5. Process Intensification studies in advanced oxidation and membrane bioreactor process.
6. Resource and data management
7. Pilot-scale implementations
8. SWOT analysis
Dr Sujata Patil
Dr. Sujata is a postdoctoral researcher at the Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM). She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai, India. Her doctoral dissertation focused on Intensification Techniques, nanomaterial synthesis, isolation, purification of value-added products (bioactives and proteins), and sustainability research. She has studied life cycle assessment using GaBi Professional and OpenLCA software for curcumin production by different extraction processes. She has also worked on collaborative and interdisciplinary projects between academia and industry partners under the prestigious Prime Minister’s Research Fellowships, an initiative of the Government of India for academia and industry.
MSc in Energy Technology and Sustainable Fuels Economy, environmental engineer. Currently, postdoctoral researcher at Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials and CSO at Vertoro. More than ten years of experience in environmental engineering, environmental impact assessment and economic feasibility analysis. Experienced LCA practitioner. Guest Associate Editor in Frontiers in Environmental Economics.
Cris Garcia Saravia Ortiz De Montellano (C.)
Cris is an Environmental Engineer, with an MSc in Biosystems Engineering from Wageningen University. Through her studies and work in Mexico and the Netherlands, she gained expertise in Sustainability for Supply Chains, Systems thinking Social and rural development, and currently Systems design and Circular Economy. Her master’s specialization in Environmental Technology focused on biobased processes for resource recovery, particularly chain elongation through anaerobic digestion.
Now, at Maastricht University she focuses on integrating Life Cycle Assessment and the Sustainable Development Goals as decision support tools to better assess the transition of (bio-)plastics and biobased materials to a Circular Economy.
PhD candidate (external – B4Plastics)
Felicitas is an external PhD candidate at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) as an early-stage researcher in the Biobased Value Circle, a Marie Skldowska-Curie European Industrial Doctorate. Her research is focused on the plastics end-of-life modeling in Life Cycle Assessments, particularly pertaining to biodegradation pathways for bioplastics.
She obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany), specialized in plastics processing. As a student research assistant, she worked in Life Cycle Inventory modeling for carbon removal technologies at the Chair of Technical Thermodynamics (RWTH Aachen). For her master’s thesis research, she explored the influence of buffering microgels on the pH development of degrading polymer filaments as well as the modeling of the degradation process.
Carolina Bettker Vasconcelos
Carolina is a Ph.D. candidate at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) as an early-stage researcher in the Biobased Value Circle, a Marie Skldowska-Curie European Industrial Doctorate.
In partnership with the consultancy company umlaut (Part of Accenture), she works at the interface between academia and business, in an interdisciplinary project. Her research focuses on how communication about sustainability influences companies and business ecosystem transformations towards more sustainable outcomes.
She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), with one-year scholarship at the University of Liverpool (England). Besides, she holds a MBA in Project Management from Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil). She worked for 4.8 years in a biotechnology startup in Brazil (Regenera Moleculas do Mar), connecting research and laboratory work with project management activities.
Michelle is a PhD candidate within the research group of Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials led by Prof. Yvonne van der Meer at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Bio-based Materials (AMIBM). She’s doing her PhD project in consultation with different institutes under the project called CARBIOW, which is funded by the EU. In 2021, Michelle obtained her Master degree in Biobased Materials at Maastricht University. In her master thesis she has investigate the Life Cycle Assessment of two potential routes to produce terephthalic acid from Miscanthus in the Netherlands. In the same year, her research received a MORSE award by Maastricht University and later in 2022 her research was published at the Cleaner Environmental Systems journal. After her master thesis she worked for a consultancy company as a Project and Certification Manager in which she used her expertise within her industrial job.
Marco is a sustainability researcher currently working at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM). He has a material and nanotechnology engineer degree with an MSc in Biobased Materials (Maastricht University) in which he focused his expertise in the sustainability field. In his master thesis, he investigated the Life Cycle Assessment of biobased colourants, specifically curcumin, in food packaging applications. For this work, he received the “Menno Knetsch Thesis Award 2022”.
The idea that his work could have a meaningful impact on our world in changing and increasing the sustainability of human lifestyle is what drive him. Studying the materials of tomorrow and their effects toward a better future is what keep motivating him.
Artwork by Cris García Saravia