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Dr. James J Leahy

Biography

Prof J J Leahy is currently an associate professor in the Dept of Chemical Sciences at the University of Limerick where he is involved in teaching, curriculum development and research in the area of waste management and renewable energy. He currently heads a research group consisting of chemists and chemical engineers that is focused on chemical technologies for biofuels and biorefining from wastes with particular interests in :

  • Identifying the optimum thermochemical route (gasification, pyrolysis), & chemical hydrolysis route for the production of chemicals and second generation transport fuel from bio-waste.
  • Using laboratory & pilot scale processing facilities to test & optimise the yield of selected product from characterised feedstocks. The goal will be to develop novelty through optimising the process variables for particular feedstocks or products.
  • Develop and test catalysts/chemical processes for the production of and upgrading bio-oil.
  • Develop state of the art pre-treatment processes, that will enable rapid and environmentally benign procedures for hydrolysis of the carbohydrate components in lignocellulosic materials.
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of producing bio syngas and develop and test catalysts/chemical processes for production of alcohol or diesel fuels

He has a strong research background in applied biofuels research and has forged strong links with major and small stakeholders with the biofuels industry nationally. This collaboration with industry has led to two start-up biofuels companies in themed-west region. This research record is reflected in both a publication record in international journals and a demonstrated ability to attract funding from industry as well as national and international funding agencies. He plays a key role in several major EC funded and National projects bioenergy, biofuels and biorefineries. A major strength of the candidate is his ability to foster and develop collaborations with Universities and Research Institutes engaged in research in renewable energy both at national and EU level. This will be important both in providing a strong platform for the University of Limerick to increase it's profile nationally in the energy space and to create a profile with significant international impact.

Research Interests


  • Identifying the optimum thermochemical route (gasification, pyrolysis), & chemical hydrolysis route for the production of chemicals and second generation transport fuel from biomass & waste.


  • Using laboratory & pilot scale processing facilities to test & optimise the yield of selected product from characterised feedstocks. The goal will be to develop novelty through optimising the process variables for particular feedstocks or products.


  • Develop and test catalysts/chemical processes for the production of and upgrading bio-oil.


  • Develop state of the art pre-treatment processes, that will enable rapid and environmentally benign procedures for hydrolysis of the carbohydrate components in lignocellulosic materials.


  • Demonstrate the feasibility of producing bio syngas and develop and test catalysts/chemical processes for production of alcohol or diesel fuels

Publications

Book Chapter

2000

Ageing characteristics of g irradiated ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.
O'Neill, P., C. Birkinshaw , J.J. Leahy
Ageing Studies & Lifetime Extension of Materials

Conference Publication

2016

European Conference of Educational Research, Dublin, Ireland.
Flaherty, A., Erduran, S., O'Dwyer, A., Leahy, J. J. (2016, August).

2012

Cat4Bio Thessaloniki
Melligan F., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2012

4th International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste
Wnetrzak R., Leahy J.J., Peters K., Jensen L.S., Kwapinski W.

2012

UBIOCHEM
Melligan F., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B., Kwapinski W.

2012

19th International Symposium on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Melligan F., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B., Kwapinski W.

2011

Science and Industry – Spectroscopic methods in practice
Wnetrzak R., Kolodynska D., Hubicki Z., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2011

Hybrid Materials, Strasburg
Li Zhonglai, Kwapinski W. Leahy J.J.

2011

22nd North American Catalysis Society Meeting
Li Zonglai, Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J.

2011

Nauka i przemysl – metody spektroskopowe w praktyce, nowe wyzwania i mozliwosci, ISBN 978-83-227-3227-4
Wnetrzak R., Kolodynska D., Hubicki Z., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2011

Hybrid Materials - organized by Elsevier
Li Zhonglai, Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J.

2011

Proceedings 21st Irish Environmental Researchers' Colloquium, Environ 2011
Troy S., Nolan T., Lawlor P., Leahy J. Healy M., Kwapinski W.

2010

Managing livestock manure for sustainable agriculture
Kwapinski W., Troy S., Wnetrzak R., Piterina A., Healy M.G., Nolan T., Lawlor P.G., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2010

15th IHSS Conference, Tenerife
Kwapinski W., Wolfram P., Byrne C., Melligan F., Novotny E.H., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2010

Bioten conference
Kwapinski W., Melligan F., Byrne B., Wolfram P., Nowotny E., Haverty D., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2010

Bioten conference
Kwapinski W., Wnetrzak R., Melligan F., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2010

2nd annual UK Biochar Conference, Rothamsted
Byrne C., Kwapinski W., Wolfram P., Melligan F., Novotny E.H., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2010

10th European Gasification Conference, Amsterdam
Kwapinska M., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J.

2010

3rd International Conference on Engineering for Waste and Biomass Valorization, Beijing
Kwapinski W., Byrne C., Kryachko E., Wolfram P., Adley C., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2010

3rd International Biochar Conference: IBI 2010
Hayes, M.H.B., Byrne, C.M.P., Kwapinski, W., Wolfram, P., Melligan, F.J., Novotny, E.H., Leahy, J.J.

2010

3rd International Conference on Engineering for Waste and Biomass Valorization, Beijing
Kwapinski W., Wnetrzak R., Melligan F., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2009

Working Party on Computer Aided Process Engineering
Melligan F., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.

2009

IRCSET Symposium
Melligan F., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.

2009

Energy Solutions¿09 `Energy to drive the Irish Economy¿
Kwapinski W., Kryachko E., Melligan F., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B.

2009

Working Party on Computer Aided Process Engineering
Melligan F., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.

2008

16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition
Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.

2008

16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition
Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.

2004

2004 4TH IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POLYMERS AND ADHESIVES IN MICROELECTRONICS AND PHOTONICS
Griffin, P; Leahy, JJ; Punch, J; Galkin, T; Elonen, E; Rusanen, O

Other Publication

Peer Reviewed Journal

2016

Chemically and biologically-mediated fertilizing value of manure-derived biochar
Subedi, R,Taupe, N,Ikoyi, I,Bertora, C,Zavattaro, L,Schmalenberger, A,Leahy, JJ,Grignani, C
The Science of the total environment DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.160

2016

Updraft gasification of poultry litter at farm-scale - A case study
Taupe, NC,Lynch, D,Wnetrzak, R,Kwapinska, M,Kwapinski, W,Leahy, JJ
Waste Management DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.02.036

2016

Poultry Litter Gasification in a Fluidized Bed Reactor: Effects of Gasifying Agent and Limestone Addition
Pandey, DS,Kwapinska, M,Gomez-Barea, A,Horvat, A,Fryda, LE,Rabou, LPLM,Leahy, JJ,Kwapinski, W
Energy & Fuels DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.6b00058

2015

Catalytically Upgrading Bio-oil via Esterification
Liu, YC,Li, ZL,Leahy, JJ,Kwapinski, W
Energy & Fuels DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b00163

2015

Determination of the Higher Heating Value of Pig Manure
Wnetrzak, R,Hayes, DJM,Jensen, LS,Leahy, JJ,Kwapinski, W
Waste And Biomass Valorization DOI: 10.1007/s12649-015-9350-y

2014

Influence of pig manure biochar mineral content on Cr(III) sorption capacity
Wnetrzak, R,Leahy, JJ,Chojnacka, KW,Saeid, A,Novotny, E,Jensen, LS,Kwapinski, W
Journal Of Chemical Technology And Biotechnology DOI: 10.1002/jctb.4159

2014

Behavior of Heavy Metals during Fluidized Bed Combustion of Poultry Litter
Lynch, D,Low, F,Henihan, AM,Garcia, A,Kwapinski, W,Zhang, L,Leahy, JJ
Energy & Fuels DOI: 10.1021/ef500981k

2014

Impact of torrefaction on properties of Miscanthus x giganteus relevant to gasification
Xue, G,Kwapinska, M,Kwapinski, W,Czajka, KM,Kennedy, J,Leahy, JJ
Fuel DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2013.12.022

2014

Gasification of torrefied Miscanthus x giganteus in an air-blown bubbling fluidized bed gasifier
Xue, G,Kwapinska, M,Horvat, A,Kwapinski, W,Rabou, LPLM,Dooley, S,Czajka, KM,Leahy, JJ
Bioresource Technology DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.02.094

2013

The influence of the pig manure separation system on the energy production potentials
Wnetrzak, R,Kwapinski, W,Peters, K,Sommer, SG,Jensen, LS,Leahy, JJ
Bioresource Technology DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.03.001

2013

Utilisation of poultry litter as an energy feedstock
Henihan, AM,Bowen, B,Lynch, D,McDonnell, K,Kwapinski, W,Leahy, JJ
Biomass & Bioenergy DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.12.009

2012

Effect of sawdust addition on composting of separated raw and anaerobically digested pig manure
Troy, SM,Nolan, T,Kwapinski, W,Leahy, JJ,Healy, MG,Lawlor, PG
Journal Of Environmental Management DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.035

2012

Kinetic and adsorptive characterization of biochar in metal ions removal
Kolodynska, D,Wnetrzak, R,Leahy, JJ,Hayes, MHB,Kwapinski, W,Hubicki, Z
Chemical Engineering Journal DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2012.05.025

2012

Characterisation of the products from pyrolysis of residues after acid hydrolysis of Miscanthus
Melligan, F,Dussan, K,Auccaise, R,Novotny, EH,Leahy, JJ,Hayes, MHB,Kwapinski, W
Bioresource Technology DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.12.110

2012

Crystal morphology of strained ultra high molecular weight polyethylenes
Collins, MN,Dalton, E,Schaller, B,Leahy, JJ,Birkinshaw, C
Polymer Testing DOI: 10.1016/j.polymertesting.2012.03.009

2012

Mutagenic activity of biochars obtained from pyrolysis biorefinery processes in Salmonella typhimurium TA100 and TA98 tester strains with and without metabolic S9 mix activation.
Piterina, AV., Chipman, K. Leahy, J.J., Pembroke, J.T., and M.H.Hayes
Environmental Engineering and management Journal

2012
2011

Pressurised pyrolysis of Miscanthus using a fixed bed reactor
Melligan, F; Auccaise, R; Novotny, EH; Leahy, JJ; Hayes, MHB; Kwapinski, W
Bioresource Technology DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.10.129

2011

Selective hydrogenation of sunflower oil over noble metal catalysts
McArdle, S; Girish, S; Leahy, JJ; Curtin, T
Journal Of Molecular Catalysis A-Chemical DOI: 10.1016/j.molcata.2011.10.004

2011
2010

Biochar from Biomass and Waste
Kwapinski, W,Byrne, CMP,Kryachko, E,Wolfram, P,Adley, C,Leahy, JJ,Novotny, EH,Hayes, MHB
Waste And Biomass Valorization DOI: 10.1007/s12649-010-9024-8

2010

Biochar from biomass and waste
Kwapinski W., Byrne C.M.P., Kryachko E., Wolfram P., Adley C., Leahy J.J., Novotny E.H., Hayes M.H.B.
Waste And Biomass Valorization DOI: 10.1007/s12649-010-9024-8

2008

Crystal ageing in irradiated ultra high molecular weight polyethylene
Barron, D; Collins, MN; Flannery, MJ; Leahy, JJ; Birkinshaw, C
Journal Of Materials Science-Materials In Medicine DOI: 10.1007/s10856-007-3333-x

2002

The use of fly ash from the combustion of poultry litter for the adsorption of chromium(III) from aqueous solution
Kelleher, BP; O'Callaghan, MN; Leahy, MJ; O'Dwyer, TF; Leahy, JJ
Journal Of Chemical Technology And Biotechnology DOI: 10.1002/jctb.689

2002

Advances in Poultry Litter Disposal Technology - A Review
Kelleher, BP; Leahy, JJ; Henihan, AM; O'Dwyer, TF; Sutton, D; Leahy, M
Bioresource Technology

2001

A study of ageing in acrylic adhesives
Lyons, E; Leahy, JJ; Hayes, K
International Journal Of Adhesion And Adhesives DOI: 10.1016/S0143-7496(00)00025-7