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ABOUT Dr.Carol Lin

Research Interests

Biomass Valorization

There is a growing demand to establish biotechnology-based processes for material, chemical and fuel production to decrease our dependency on dwindling oil reserves and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These novel bioprocesses are incorporated into bio-refineries, which are integral units converting different renewable-derived feedstocks into a range of useful products as diverse as those from petroleum using environmentally friendly technologies. A number of agricultural-based bio-refinery processes have been developed and realised at commercial scale since the past decade. At the same time there are growing concerns over organic waste generation and insufficient resource supply due to the ever-increasing global population and the cradle-to-grave system of material flows in the linear economy.

Therefore, the research in our team aimed at valorising organic waste materials through bioconversion processes to recover their inherent nutrients for transformation into value-added products. Waste-based bio-refinery not only provides a means for waste treatment, but also promotes the development of a circular economy by valorising wastes into high-value products. As part of this goal, the recent projects conducted in our group mainly focused on the development of integrated bio-refinery strategies to valorise food and textile wastes. Due to the different characteristics of the waste materials, the bio-processes were specifically designed and demonstrated in laboratory- and pilot-scales, accompanied with techno-economic assessment for evaluation of technical and economic feasibility.

  • Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology

  • Fermentation Technology

  • Metabolic Engineering

  • Downstream Processing for Product Recovery and Purification


Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Materials Engineering, First Class Honours, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. 


PhD, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Manchester (formerly UMIST), England.

Title of PhD thesis: “Succinic acid production from low-cost sustainable raw materials using green processing strategies”

Supervisor: Professor Colin Webb

Current Work

Dr. Carol Lin is an Associate Professor in the School of Energy and Environment at the City University of Hong Kong.  She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Bioengineering Program in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the HKUST from January 2010 to June 2011. Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the research group of Professor Wim Soetaert at the Centre of Expertise – Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis ( at the Ghent University in Belgium.  She worked in a project titled ‘‘Optimalisation and scale up for succinate production using genetically modified Escherichia coli’.  It was the last phase of a collaborative project titled the “Metabolic engineering and dynamic modelling of Escherichia coli for the production of chemicals from renewable resources” (MEMORE) project.

Carol graduated in Chemical and Materials Engineering from the University of Auckland, New Zealand with a 1st class honours degree.  Her PhD was carried out within the Satake Centre for Grain Process Engineering (SCGPE) in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at the University of Manchester, England.  In collaboration with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York, her research focused on novel wheat-based biorefining strategies for the production of succinic acid.

Her recent work on 'Starbucks Biorefinery' strategy for sustainable production of succinic acid has been highlighted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in the 244th meeting in Philadelphia, USA as well as in numerous high profile media venues such as Time Magazine (US Edition), BBC News, CNN and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

Dr. Lin is also editorial board member of several biotechnology and energy related journals. She has published over 130 papers with several scientific manuscripts in top impact factor journals including Chemical Society Reviews, Energy and Environmental Sciences; editor of 3 books, co-authored 13 book chapters and published 6 patents. She gave over 100 oral presentations including 12 key-note and 5 plenary talk in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and USA.


YEAR          AWARD

2018             BESS Achievement Award 2018, Bioenergy Biorefinery Conference – Southeast Asia 2018 Sustainable Production of Molecules, Bioenergy Society .....................of  Singapore (BESS)

2018             Golden Medal in Geneva Invention Exhibition 2018
.....................for ITF project titled "Textile Waste Recycling by Biological Method"

2017             The President’s Awards, City University of Hong Kong

2016             RITA Award 2016, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Appeal (HKRITA)

2016             BESS Achievement Award 2016, Bioenergy Biorefinery Conference – Southeast Asia 2016 Sustainable Manufacturing of Food, Fuels and .....................Chemicals, Bioenergy Society of  Singapore (BESS)

2016             Golden Medal with Jury’s Commendation in Geneva Invention Exhibition 2016 for ITF project titled “Conversion of food waste into polylactic acid .....................fiber (PLA)”

2014             PepisoCo Global R&D Research Forum Award

2008-2009    Postdoctoral scholarship from the StarTT-projecten funded by the Industrieel Onderzoeksfonds (IOF), Belgium

2008             Poster prize at the FROPTOP event: Enzyme technology for high value products – White Biotechnology Workshop, Manchester .....................Interdisciplinary Bioscience; July 16, 2008.

2008             Student grant for junior researchers in the Fourth International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries (RRB4) .....................provided by the Dutch Biotechnology Foundation (Stichting Biotechnologie, SBN), the Netherlands.

2008             Postgraduate Research Student Conference Travel Funds, The University of Manchester

2008             Student Bursary, Biochemical Engineering Subject Group, the Institute of Chemical Engineer (IChemE), United Kingdom

2008             Postgraduate Travel Grant from the Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd., United Kingdom

2006-2008    Doctoral Studentship, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), United Kingdom

2004-2007    Overseas Research Student Awards Scheme (ORSAS), United Kingdom

1999             Runner Up for the Best Presentation in the Chemical Engineering Final Year Project Presentation, Department of Chemical & .....................Materials Engineering, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

1999             5th International Alumina Quality Workshop Scholarship, Australia

1998             Senior Prize in Chemical and Materials Engineering (Year 3) Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, The University of .....................Auckland, New Zealand

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