Ionela Florentina Grigoras received her BSc in Chemical Engineering from the ‘Polytechnica’ University of Timisoara, Romania in 2011. In 2013, she received her MSc. in Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technology from Aalborg University, Denmark. During her master’s program at Aalborg University, Ionela worked on various energy-related projects following the Aalborg model of problem-based learning (PBL), an internationally recognized approach. At the same time, she also joined the Biomass group at Aalborg University, Department of Energy Technology, working as a student helper in laboratory on conversion of black liquor and lignin into biofuels via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL).
Her interest in biofuels led her to continue working as a research assistant as a part of the Biomass group for about 10 months and following that to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of biofuels. Her work as research assistant consisted of converting grass into biofuels through the same thermochemical conversion method and training and operation of various laboratory instruments.
Ionela started her PhD in 2014 under supervision of Professor Lasse A. Rosendahl through a fellowship sponsored by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. Her research is focused on improving the fundamental understanding of the HTL process by providing detailed reaction kinetics and mechanisms of the individual and mixtures of biomass compounds under hot compressed water conditions. Most of her work has been conducted experimentally so far, testing the various biomass model compounds under the HTL conditions.
She joined the Green group at MIT in March 2016 to focus on creating a reaction mechanism for conversion of biomass model compounds in the presence of water properties at high temperatures and pressures using the software Reaction Mechanism Generator (RMG).
Apart from doing research, Ionela enjoys reading, jogging and photography.