Dr Sharon Velasquez Orta
Lecturer in Chemical Engineering
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7278
- Address: Merz Court
Newcastle upon Tyne
Dr Sharon Velasquez Orta is a lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials in Newcastle University. Before pursuing an academic career, Dr Velasquez Orta acquired experience in environmental industrial processes and the research of environmental systems.
2005 – 2009 Integrated PhD in Environmental Sciences Schools of Civil Engineering & Geosciences and, Chemical Engineering & Advanced Materials. Thesis: Bioelectricity production from organic compounds using Microbial Fuel Cells.
2007 – 2009 Postgraduate Certificate in Advance Studies in Academic Practice Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
2005 – 2006 MSc in Environmental Engineering courses School of Civil Engineering & Geosciences
1999 – 2003 BEng in Chemical Engineering School of Chemical Sciences. Dissertation: Sequential and continuous industrial process simulation and control (Univ. of South Florida, USA).
Since 2009 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Since 2007 Affiliate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry
Since 2005 Member of the International Water association
2006-2009 Member of Society of Chemical Industry
September 2011 - Spotlight award given by the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
October 2010 – Invited to present a poster in the International Review of Energy organized by EPSRC
April 2010 – Shortlisted candidate by the Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC to obtain a Research Fellowship at Newcastle University to gain research independence in energy from wastes.
Marc, 2009 - Nominated to the Newcastle student achievement award in the environmental impact category.
June, 2009 – present. Invited research article reviewer for: Bioresource & Technology; Microbiology & Biotechnology; Fuels; Journal of Chemical Engineering
April 2008 – Awarded best conference poster in the 9th UK International Water Association Conference for Young Professionals
2012 - Knowledge Transfer Partnership (£14K) Partnership with Palintest Ltd. to commercialise a biosensor
Languages English (fluent), French (fluent), Spanish (native speaker)
My research involves the evaluation of new environmental technologies that can achieve both energy generation and waste remediation. I am interested in the production of renewable energy from liquid, solid wastes and microalgae by applying bioelectrochemical, chemical and thermal techniques.
Bio-electrochemistry Technology: Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) are a type of technology that enables wastewater treatment and electricity generation. MFCs utilise various organic electron donors under anaerobic conditions and directly transform chemical energy into electrical energy via a series of electrochemical reactions. I have studied the effect of different organic wastewaters, novel mediator compounds and organic loading rates on bioelectricity production, organic matter removal and microbial diversity.
Projects: Collaboration with Palintest Ltd: This project investigates the use of microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology as a biosensor to facilitate the continuous and on-line monitoring of organic matter content in wastewater. Organic matter is a parameter internationally reported in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). Analysis of BOD in wastewater helps maintain adequate removal efficiency in treatment works.
Collaboration with Ngee Ann (Singapore): Development of low cost microbial fuel cells to produce energy: This project analyses the application of microbial fuel cells for developing countries. It includes the evaluation of low cost materials, microbiological performance and municipal wastewater treatment.
To know more about this research visit: http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/sharon.velasquez-orta/
Key article: Factors affecting current production in microbial fuel cells using different industrial wastewaters(2011) Bioresource Technology 102(80)
Bio-fuel Production: Biofuel can be produced from wastewater sludge and microalgae using chemical (in situ transesterification), thermal (catalytic cracking) or biological processes. These two processes offer several advantages such as the elimination of the oil extraction step, potential improvement on biofuel yield, and reduction in the transportation of intermediate products. In situ transesterification is utilised for biodiesel production while catalytic cracking can produce several types of biofuels such as methane, biodiesel and jet fuel.
Projects: Collaboration with UNAM University (Mexico): This project involves the technical, economical and process evaluation of biodiesel production from different single and mixed cultures of microalgae. It analyses the use of waste resources as source of nutrients and the technological application for developing countries.
To know more about this field of research visit: http://pig.ncl.ac.uk
Key article: Alkaline in situ transesterification of Chlorella vulgaris (2011) Fuel, in press
Sustainable Engineering Systems: Collaboration with SECURE (Self Conserving Urban Environments): Life cycle analysis to determine the energy use and carbon emissions produced during the transportation, treatment and final disposal of solid wastes, wastewater produced in the North East of England.
To know more about this research visit: https://www.secure-project.org/
2015 Experimental Design (CME2026, BEng/MEng in Chemical Engineering) 100%, 5credits
2014 Transfer Processes 2 (CME2022, BEng/MEng in Chemical Engineering) 50%, 20credits
2011, 2012, 2014 Biomass and Waste Technology (SPG8008, MSc in REFLEX) 15%, 10credits
2012 & 2014 Process Economics (CME 3032, BEng/MEng Chemical Engineering) 23%, 15credits
2012 & 2014 Plant Design (CME3039, BEng/MEng in Chemical Engineering) 5%, 40credits
2013 Separation Processes 1 (CME2022, BEng/MEng in Chemical Engineering) 15%, 10 credits
2012 Delivered two lectures in pollution monitoring (CME 8010, MSc in Clean Technology)
2012 Delivered two lectures in sustainable industry (CME8038, MSc in Clean Technology)
2010 Delivered a lecture in microalgae processing to master students in clean technology.
2010 Delivered a lecture on microbial fuel cells for energy generation to master students in environmental geochemistry.
- Christodoulou X, Velasquez-Orta SB. Microbial electrosynthesis and anaerobic fermentation: An economic evaluation for acetic acid production from CO2 and CO. Environmental Science and Technology 2016, (ePub ahead of Print).
- Salam K, Velasquez-Orta SB, Harvey AP. Kinetics of fast alkali reactive extraction/in situ transesterification of Chlorella vulgaris that identifies process conditions for a significant enhanced rate and water tolerance. Fuel Processing Technology 2016, 144, 212–219.
- Varia JC, Zegeye A, Velasquez-Orta S, Bull S. Process analysis of AuCl4- sorption leading to gold nanoparticle synthesis by Shewanella putrefaciens. Chemical Engineering Journal 2016, 288, 482-488.
- Salam K, Velasquez-Orta SB, Harvey AP. Surfactant-assisted direct biodiesel production from wet Nannochloropsis occulata by in situ transesterification/reactive extraction. Biofuel Research Journal 2016, 3(1), 366-371.
- Salam KA, Velasquez-Orta SB, Harvey AP. In Situ Transesterification of Wet Marine and Fresh Water Microalgae for Biodiesel Production and Its Effect on the Algal Residue. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems 2016, 6(2), 17-30.
- Velasquez-Orta SB. Low cost microbial fuel cell biosensors. In: UN International Zaragoza Conference: Tools for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene implementation. Water and Sustainable Development from Vision to Action. 2015, Zaragoza, Spain: United Nations.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Lee JGM, Harvey AP. Catalytic cracking using ZSM-5 or Zeolite-Y and pyrolysis of Chlorella vulgaris. In: 5th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts. 2015, San Diego, USA.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Garcia-Estrada R, Monje-Ramirez I, Harvey A, Orta Ledesma MT. Microalgae harvesting using ozoflotation: Effect on lipid and FAME recoveries. Biomass and Bioenergy 2014, 70, 356-363.
- Oladapo K, Velasquez Orta SB, Monje-Ramirez I, Yáñez Noguez I, Harvey AP, Orta Ledesma MT. Biodiesel production from indigenous microalgae grown in wastewater. Bioresource Technology 2014, 154, 297-304.
- Varia JC, Silva Martinez S, Velasquez-Orta S, Bull S. Microbiological influence of metal ion electrodeposition: Studies using graphite electrodes, [AuCl4]− and Shewanella putrefaciens. Electrochimica Acta 2014, 115, 344-351.
- Velasquez-Orta SB. Alternatives for energy production in aerobic wastewater treatment facilities. Water Science and Technology 2013, 67(12), 2856-2862.
- Varia J, Silva Martinez S, Velasquez Orta SB, Bull S, Roy S. Bioelectrochemical metal remediation and recovery of Au3+, Co2+ and Fe3+ metal ions. Electrochimica Acta 2013, 95, 125-131.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Lee JGM, Harvey A. Evaluation of FAME production from wet marine and freshwater microalgae by in situ transesterification. Biochemical Engineering Journal 2013, 76, 83-89.
- Velasquez Orta SB, Lee JGM, Harvey A. Alkaline in situ transesterification of Chlorella vulgaris. Fuel 2012, 94, 544-550.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Curtis TP, Logan BE. Energy From Algae Using Microbial Fuel Cells. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2009, 103(6), 1068-1076.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Head IM, Curtis TP, Scott K, Lloyd JR, von Canstein H. The effect of flavin electron shuttles in microbial fuel cells current production. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2010, 85(5), 1373-1381.
- Velasquez Orta SB, Head IM, Curtis TP, Scott K. Factors affecting current production in microbial fuel cells using different industrial wastewaters. Bioresource Technology 2011, 102(8), 5105-5112.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Yu E, Katuri KP, Head IM, Curtis TP, Scott K. Evaluation of hydrolysis and fermentation rates in microbial fuel cells. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2011, 90(2), 789-798.
- Di Lorenzo M, Curtis T, Head IM, Velasquez-Orta SB, Scott K. A single chamber packed bed microbial fuel cell biosensor for measuring organic content of wastewater. Water Science and Technology 2009, 60(11), 2879-2887.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Graham D. Integration of waste emissions and energy use in sustainable urban infrastructure models. In: Planet Under Pressure Conference. 2012, London, UK.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Harvey AP, Lee J. Biodiesel production from nannochloropsis occulata by in situ transesterification. In: European Process Intensification Conference. 2011, Manchester, UK: AIChE.
- Salam K, Velasquez-Orta SB, Harvey AP. Intensification of Algal Biodiesel by in situ transesterification. In: 4th International conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts. 2014, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
- Velasquez-Orta SB, Head I, Curtis T, Scott K. Power production enhacement by using novel mediators in a microbial fuel cell. In: 6th Worldwater Congress and Exhibition. 2008, Vienna, Austria.
- Velasquez-Orta SB. New technologies for electricity generation from urban wastewater treatment. In: 7th Worldwide Workshop for Young Environmental Scientists. 2008, Paris, France: University Paris-Est Creteil (UPEC).