Aarhus engineer honoured for his waste research

A young researcher at Aarhus University is working on completely eliminating waste production in the plant oil refining industry. This has just led to three international honorary awards.

2017.06.21 | Jesper Bruun

The awards have motivated Jingbo Li to continue studying and become more specialised in a field that has great prospects.

Jingbo Li is shown here with Rich Barton, chair of the Processing Section at AOCS, which issued one of the three honorary awards.

Waste is not just rubbish – it is also a resource. This has been the case for a long time, and both industry and private individuals in Denmark are good at recycling biowaste. However, there will always be waste products from industrial production that cannot be used for anything.

Or will there?

Not according to engineer Jingbo Li, a PhD student at Aarhus University who is carrying out research into completely eliminating waste production in industry by means of sustainable and green technology. His research has just resulted in three international honorary awards from AOCS – the American Oil Chemists’ Society – which is more than a century old and is the world’s largest organisation in the area of oil and fat research.

“I’m very pleased to have received these awards because it’s an international recognition of my contribution to research. And it motivates me to carry out further research in biowaste recycling and utilisation,” says Jingbo Li.

Jingbo Li’s award-winning research has so far been mainly concerned with the rapeseed oil industry. Here he can use naturally occurring amino acids and nutrients – especially the organic compound choline – to turn otherwise worthless waste products into useful components and ingredients in the food and fuel industry.

In this way, he converts the biowaste without using potentially toxic solvents or non-sustainable compounds, and the process ensures that no further waste is generated.

The research is currently being carried out in collaboration with DLG Food Oil, a farm supply company where Jingbo Li is using his research in a pilot project about waste from rapeseed oil production.

The aim is to upscale this to an industrial level and extend the method to other sectors to potentially create green, more sustainable and non-waste-producing industries all over the world.


Associate Professor Zheng Guo

PhD student Jingbo Li

AU Engineering