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Bioenergy 'BioenNW' project to reduce landfill in the West Midlands

BioenNW launch - 29.3.12
Left to right: Professor Andreas Hornung (Aston University), Professor Alison Halstead (Aston University), Sandy Taylor (Birmingham City University), Professor Peter Mills (Harper Adams University College)

5 April 2012

An innovative €8m bioenergy project which will see five European countries working together to develop bioenergy initiatives that will significantly reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, has been officially launched in the West Midlands.

BioenNW (Bioenergy North West) is focused on promoting the use of green bioenergy power facilities fuelled by waste materials across five regions of North West Europe: West Midlands (UK), Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Ile-de-France (France), North Rhine Westphalia (Germany) and Wallonia (Belgium). Waste materials such as straw, wood, algae and sewage sludgecould potentially be explored as sources of biofuel, therefore removing any reliance on the production of dedicated food crops.

As part of the project, Bioenergy Support Centres (BSC) have been created in these regions to support companies, organisations and local authorities to deliver local bioenergy more efficiently and cost-effectively. The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) based at Aston University is the lead partner of this EU funded INTERREG IVB project and will be the Bioenergy Support Centre for the West Midlands. At the BioenNW project launch which took place on Thursday 29 March, this BSC for the West Midlands was also announced.

Each BSC offers leading edge bioenergy demonstration plants, scientific demonstration facilities, a bioenergy decision support tool to help organisations decide on their best bioenergy solution, a comprehensive document library plus training and educational materials.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Andreas Hornung, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University, said: “The field of bioenergy is expanding rapidly with successful installations, innovative applications and investment opportunities appearing on a regular basis. BioenNW will help to make local bioenergy initiatives a reality by demonstrating that bioenergy is truly a green and sustainable energy solution for organisations and communities throughout North West Europe.”

Professor Peter Mills, Vice Principal of Harper Adams University College, said: "Harper Adams was delighted to host the launch event for the Bioenergy project and was delighted also to be able to house the pyroformer equipment. Maximising energy production from waste materials sits well with our emphasis at Harper Adams on research into sustainable, low carbon agri-food systems."

Sandy Taylor, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham has set an ambitious target of cutting its overall carbon emissions by 2026 by 60%. We are therefore committed to exploring and installing the most energy efficient measures to help us in our task. We are extremely pleased to be a partner in the BioenNW project with EBRI. Sustainable BioEnergy has to be one of the energy solutions for cities across Europe.”

The event, hosted at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, saw representatives from the BioenNW West Midlands partners - Aston University, Harper Adams University College, Birmingham City Council and Birmingham City University - meeting with businesses and organisations throughout the West Midlands.

Anyone wishing to find out more about BioenNW and how they can access bioenergy support should visit www.bioenergy-nw.eu.

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For further information, images and interviews, please contact Louise Russell, Marketing and Communications Officer, EBRI, Aston University, on 0121 204 4637 or at l.a.russell1@aston.ac.uk. 

EBRI intereg bioennw logos

Notes to Editors

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

EBRI based at Aston University delivers world-class research into all aspects of bioenergy. EBRI has been established since 2007 and bioenergy research has been taking place at the University from as early as 1978. EBRI staff conduct research into all aspects of bioenergy ranging from fundamental research through development, to deployment of innovative technologies, in collaboration with industry. The EBRI research team works with regional, national and international businesses and organisations to help them realise opportunities from this new high growth sector. www.aston.ac.uk/ebri 

INTERREG BioenNW

The EBRI research team is leading an ambitious international project promoting the wider adoption of bioenergy in regions of North West Europe to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy security and employment opportunities.The BioenNW project supports companies, organisations and local authorities to deliver local bioenergy in parts of the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands by promoting the use of innovative bioenergy power stations fuelled by waste on a small scale (from 5-10MW output) across the West Midlands (UK), Ilede-France (France), Wallonia (Belgium), Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and North Reine Westphalia (Germany). The project is demonstrating the economic viability of power generation from urban and rural waste and how technologies can be used with anaerobic digestion and difficult to manage waste streams. www.bioenergy-nw.eu

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