I visited Aston University and to be more exact at the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI). Aston University is located in Birmingham, UK. EBRI is a research facility focussing on the research of biomass to provide energy options through the use of pyrolysis or catalysts and so on.
I went to EBRI to analyse the biochars I produced at my home university as they provided machines I did not have at my dispense. Their laboratories are well equipped with a lot of different reactors to produce chars or bio-oil as well as analysis equipment which I got to use as well. Within the three weeks of my stay I was able to conduct porosimetry, FT-IR, ATR and TGA analysis. The work I managed to finish within these three weeks would have taken me much longer if the equipment would have been available at my home university as there I had the advantage to be the only one at this time to use them plus I was provided with great help to conduct the analysis. Another great experience was the ABC Salt summer school, which took place at the same time and which I was able to attend as well. I did not know about the summer school before coming to Birmingham but it was not problem for me to still register and attend. The summer school offered me insights into the world of bio-liquids I did not have before as well as to meet people from across Europe.
One of the most important points of having worked at EBRI was to work in an environment, where people knew about the area I am working in as with their knowledge they were able to solve problems or answer questions easier. And it was a big help not always having to explain details. Plus I got insights into other research going on, which helped me to formulate tasks I might need to do in my own project as well.