EBRI unveil new world-class bioenergy research facility at Aston University

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) unveiled brand new facilities on Monday which will allow them to expand their world-class bioenergy research and knowledge transfer activity.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham officially opened EBRI at Aston University and spoke at the opening event, alongside SWM board member Professor Dame Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University and EBRI Director Professor Andreas Hornung.

The new £16.5m development, funded jointly by the University and ERDF, is complete with six research suites, laboratories and technology demonstration facilities. It also houses the only PyroformerTM/Gasifier bioenergy power plant currently operational in the UK, which will provide power, heat and cooling to the building as well as part of the University campus.

The PyroformerTM is a groundbreaking bioenergy solution developed by Professor Andreas Hornung of EBRI, which uses multiple waste sources to generate cost-effective heat and power and  biochar which can be used as a fertiliser to increase crop yields.

Professor Dame Julia King said: “We are extremely proud that this magnificent building, teeming with world leading academic and scientific knowledge, is now officially open as part of the University campus.”

In the UK we have a legally binding commitment to cut carbon emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Aston University’s strong commitment to cutting emissions is not only evident through our operations but is also reflected in our academic offerings.  However, we are aware that the UK will not meet its targets – and at an affordable cost – without new technologies and that is why we established our European Bioenergy Research Institute.

“We believe that we can take waste such as sewage sludge, industrial waste, green waste from our parks and gardens, and even autumnal leaf fall, and turn it into a power source that by 2050 could be a thermal ring of mini bioenergy power plants around Birmingham. EBRI is therefore a critical component in enabling the UK to become more energy efficient, and to reduce our current reliance on fossil fuels, imports, and volatile energy markets.”

EBRI works with regional, national and international businesses and organisations to help them realise opportunities from the high growth bioenergy sector. EBRI has ERDF funding to provide free support, advice and consultancy to West Midlands businesses.

EBRI also run the Bioenergy Support Network (BSN) with Birmingham City Council. Members of the BSN can access experts and consultants to evaluate and set up bioenergy schemes, attend workshops, seminars and conferences, visit bioenergy facilities, access funding, utilise feedstock testing services and decision support tools. Services are currently free to organisations in the West Midlands.

A short video about the facility as shown on Midlands Today can be seen on youtube.

For more information please contact EBRI directly.