Researchers at UCD


Fionnuala Murphy

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Biosystems & Food Engineering
Agriculture and Food Science
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7167317


Dr Fionnuala Murphy is an Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Biosystems & Food Engineering, and is an SFI Industry Fellow. Dr Murphy teaches on the MSc programme in Sustainable Energy and Green Technologies, and across the School's undergraduate BAgrSc programme on Agricultural Systems Technology. Her research focuses on life cycle assessment modelling for the analysis of environmental impacts of a range of production systems, with a special interest in renewable energy systems. Dr Murphy's work aims to understand, quantify and analyse complex environmental exchanges resulting from renewable energy deployment across the full value chain. A particular focus of her current research is on greenhouse gas balances, carbon sequestration, and carbon leakage associated with the use of biomass for energy generation. Dr Murphy is a participant on AgroCycle, a multi-partner, Horizon2020 project focusing on the valorisation of agricultural waste and maximising the use of by-products and co-products via the creation of new sustainable value chains.  A key element of Dr. Murphy's work is to carry out industry relevant research, participate in effective and relevant knowledge transfer, and foster links between industry and academia. Dr. Murphy is a PI on AgriChemWhey, a recent BBI award, and Work Package leader on another recently awarded BBI project focusing on algae production for the bioeconomy. 




Association: Engineers Ireland, Function/Role: Member
Association: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Function/Role: Member



Book Chapters

Fionnuala Murphy, Kevin McDonnell, Colette C. Fagan (2014) 'Sustainability and Environmental Issues in Food Processing' In: Clark, S., Jung, S., Lamsal, B (eds). Food Processing: Principles and Applications, Second Edition. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. , pp.207-232 [DOI] [Details]
Gusciute, E; Devlin, G; Murphy, F (2016) 'Transport Sector in Ireland: Can 2020 National Policy Targets Drive Indigenous Biofuel Production to Success' In: Lund, P; Byrne, J.A.; Berndes, G; Vasalos, I (eds). Advances in Bioenergy: The Sustainability Challenge. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [DOI] [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Murphy, Fionnuala; McDonnell, Kevin (2017) 'A Feasibility Assessment of Photovoltaic Power Systems in Ireland; a Case Study for the Dublin Region'. Sustainability - Molecular Diversity Preservation International, 9 (2):302-15. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Mert Satir, Fionnuala Murphy, Kevin McDonnell (2017) 'Feasibility study of an offshore wind farm in the Aegean Sea, Turkey'. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, . [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Fionnuala Murphy, Kevin McDonnell (2017) 'Investigation of the potential impact of the Paris Agreement on national mitigation policies and the risk of carbon leakage; an analysis of the Irish bioenergy industry'. Energy Policy, (104):80-88. Available Online Link to full text [Details]
F Murphy, A Sosa, K McDonnell, G Devlin (2016) 'Life cycle assessment of biomass-to-energy systems in Ireland modelled with biomass supply chain optimisation based on greenhouse gas emission reduction'. Energy, 109 :1040-1055. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Murphy, F., Devlin, G., McDonnell, K. (2015) 'Greenhouse gas and energy based life cycle analysis of products from the Irish wood processing industry'. Journal of Cleaner Production, . [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Murphy F., Devlin G, McDonnell K (2015) 'Benchmarking environmental impacts of peat use for electricity generation in Ireland-A life cycle assessment'. Sustainability Journal, 7 (6):6376-6393. [DOI] [Details]
Fionnuala Murphy, Ger Devlin, Kevin McDonnell (2014) 'Forest Biomass Supply Chains in Ireland: A Life Cycle Assessment of GHG Emissions and Primary Energy Balances'. Applied Energy, 116 :1-8. [DOI] [Details]
Fionnuala Murphy, Ger Devlin, Kevin McDonnell (2013) 'Energy requirements and environmental impacts associated with the production of short rotation willow (Salix sp.) chip in Ireland'. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, . [DOI] [Details]
Fionnuala Murphy, Ger Devlin, Kevin McDonnell (2013) 'Miscanthus production and processing in Ireland; an analysis of energy requirements and environmental impacts'. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, (23):412-420. Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Fionnuala Murphy, Ger Devlin, Rory Deverell, Kevin McDonnell (2013) 'Biofuel Production in Ireland - An Approach to 2020 Targets with a Focus on Algal Biomass'. Energies, (6):6391-6412. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Fionnuala Murphy, Ger Devlin, Rory Deverell, Kevin McDonnell (2014) 'Potential to Increase Indigenous Biodiesel Production to help meet 2020 Targets ¿ An EU 2 perspective with a focus on Ireland'. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 35 :154-170. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Egle Gusciute, Ger Devlin, Fionnuala Murphy, Kevin McDonnell (2014) 'Transport sector in Ireland: can 2020 national policy targets drive indigenous biofuel production to success?'. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, 3 (3):310-322. [DOI] [Details]
Murphy, F., Devlin, G. and McDonnell, K; (2013) 'The Evaluation Of Flash Point And Cold Filter Plugging Point With Blends Of Diesel And Cyn-Diesel Pyrolysis Fuel For Automotive Engines'. the open fuels and energy science journal, 6 :1-8. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Murphy, F,McDonnell, K,Butler, E,Devlin, G (2012) 'The evaluation of viscosity and density of blends of Cyn-diesel pyrolysis fuel with conventional diesel fuel in relation to compliance with fuel specifications EN 590:2009'. Fuel, 91 :112-118. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Enda Flood, K. McDonnell, F. Murphy and G. Devlin (2011) 'A Feasibility Analysis of Photovoltaic Solar Power for Small Communities in Ireland'. The Open Renewable Energy Journal, (4):78-92. Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

Dr. Murphy's current Research Programme under the SFI Industry Fellowship focusses on assessing the environmental performance of novel end-of-life plastic-to-fuel technologies utilising state of the art consequential life cycle assessment methodologies. The overall objective of the fellowship is to assess the systems-level environmental performance of the Cynar process for converting waste plastic to higher value products. The objectives of the project will be achieved through the utilisation of state-of-the art consequential LCA methodology, linked to an optimisation model which will be developed to maximise both energy return from the system and environmental benefits for society. The integration of systems optimisation with consequential LCA offers a novel method of systems analysis, which has not been applied to waste-to-fuel systems.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Consequential life cycle assessment of novel waste plastic-to-fuel systems: maximising energy return with minimal environmental impacts
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-16 / 31-MAY-18


Teaching Philosophy

BSEN40350 Energy Systems Integration, BSEN30310 Biofuels and Bioenergy Resources, BSEN30390 Experimental Project, BSEN30230 Unit Operations in Bioprocess Engineering,



External Collaborators

SFI Industry Fellowship Collaboration with Trifol Resources Ltd.