- Mechanical Engineering

Sustainable Energy Research
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Alex Hetherington

Full Name:

Mrs Alexandra C Hetherington, B.Eng (Hons), MSc, C.Eng, M.I.ChemE, A.IEMA


Sustainable Energy Research Team, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Job Title:

MPhil/PhD Research: Life Cycle Assessment of Food Grade Edible Oils

PhD Research:

Sustainable Emulsion Ingredients through Bio-Innovation (SEIBI)

Research interests:

Life Cycle Assessment of the production of food grade oil seed emulsions using rape, sunflower and echium.

This project is part of a DEFRA funded project (Sustainable Emulsion Ingredients through Bio-Innovation (SEIBI)) with the University of Nottingham and a number of industrial partners.

Current oilseed processing practices, together with the subsequent incorporation of oil into food products, is considered to be inefficient. The oil is extracted and processed using high temperatures, organic solvents, and antioxidants. The SEIBI project aims to use reduce and simplify these processes. It is proposed that a simplified process will reduce the environmental impact of the production. However, this has not yet been measured.

Within my research I will use environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques to examine the oil recovery and emulsification processes from oil seeds. LCA is an environmental management tool that examines the environmental impact of a product or system through all stages of its life; from production, through use, to disposal. I will be working closely with colleagues in the University of Nottingham and within industry, to examine the impacts of novel extraction technologies and comparing these processes with current practices. As the LCA will be carried out along-side the experimentation stages of the research there will be an opportunity to help shape the process to ensure the environmental impact of the new processes is minimised.

Journal Publications:

None to date.

Conference Publications:

Hetherington, A.C., McManus, M.C. & Gray, D.A. (2011), 'Comparison of allocation and impact assessment methodologies on the life cycle assessment of rape and sunflower seed oils.' Life Cycle Management, 2011. August 28-31st, Berlin. Germany


+44 (0)1225 38 5164

E-mail Address:


Postal Address:

Sustainable Energy Research Team
4 East 3.3
Dept. Mechanical Engineering
University of Bath
United Kingdom