July 18, 2012, London, UK - A new research hub announced today will investigate the efficiency and whole-life impact of a variety of bioenergy techniques and accelerate the deployment of sustainable bioenergy.
According to David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, the new SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub is funded by a £3.5m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the RCUK Energy program. The Hub spans six research institutions and involves ten industrial partners. It will start work on 1st August 2012 and be directed by Dr. Patricia Thornley of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at The University of Manchester. Initially the hub will address 10 research projects ranging from turning biomass into transport fuels to capturing carbon dioxide from burning biomass feedstocks.
“Research and innovation play a vital role in our transition to a low carbon economy. The SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub will bring together leading academic and industrial partners to look at this pressing challenge and develop practical solutions for a greener future,” said Willetts.
Dr Patricia Thornley said: “The SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub is going to really drill into a whole host of bioenergy prospects. It is not just going to look at what will work practically, in terms of generating power, but also the impact of such technologies. This is vitally important; we have to look at the sustainability of these new avenues.”
For example, two of the projects will focus on reducing emissions from biomass combustion. One will involve practical measurement work on real boilers, trying to identify cost effective methods of reducing particulates and other atmospheric pollutants at small scale. Additionally, a fundamental scientific study will focus on identifying key markers for emissions from fuel analyses.
“The scientific research carried out through the SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub can help us discover new and better ways of making fuels, generating power, managing carbon emissions and create economic opportunities for the UK, said Professor David Delpy, EPSRC’s Chief Executive.