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EBRI waste to energy technology awarded ‘Best Technological Breakthrough’

The EBRI Pyroformer has been named 'Best Technological Breakthrough'
The Pyroformer has been named 'Best Technological Breakthrough'

6 March 2013

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University has won ‘Best Technological Breakthrough’ for its innovative bioenergy technology, which transforms multiple waste products into cost effective heat and power.

EBRI’s Pyroformer™ won the breakthrough category at this week’s national Climate Week Awards held at the House of Commons (4 March). The technology works by heating and chemically treating waste in a single, sealed process and produces oil and gas as by-products.

Tests show that unlike other bioenergy solutions, the Pyroformer™ has no negative environmental or food security impacts. Its use of multiple feedstocks means it does not require the destruction of rainforests or the use of agricultural land for the growth of specialist biocrops. The process is emission free and the Pyroformer™ is capable of processing up to 100 kg/h of biomass feed and when coupled with a Gasifier it will have an output of 400 kWeI – the equivalent to providing power for 800 homes. As well as generating heat and power, the Pyroformer™ can dramatically reduce the amount of material sent to landfill and reduce the worlds reliance on fossil fuels.

Tim Miller, Director of Operations at the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that EBRI has won this prestigious award at this year’s Climate Week Awards. Creating the sustainable energy solutions of tomorrow is at the core of EBRI’s work so this is a phenomenal achievement for the whole team. It shows how EBRI’s energy from waste technology is being recognised for its ability to help tackle climate change. However, the Pyroformer™ is about more than just sustainable energy provision. We believe this technology could be a key stimulator of growth and jobs and the reaction of the business community so far has been very positive. If you are looking for a clean energy source that ensures energy security without damaging people or planet, EBRI already has the solution.”

Following significant R&D investment the Pyroformer™ is now ‘near market’ and EBRI is showcasing this technology to industry to demonstrate how real-life solutions for tackling residues and waste can be achieved, with both environmental and financial benefits for households, businesses and local authorities.

The national Climate Week Awards showcase the UK’s most innovative, ambitious and effective actions to combat climate change. In total there were 14 categories ranging from sustainable business to new technologies and community action. The winners were announced during a special ceremony held at the House of Commons to mark the launch of this year’s Climate Week. The judging panel included the Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben and the Best Technological Breakthrough Category was sponsored by Ecotricity.

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For further information, please contact Louise Russell, EBRI Marketing & Communications Officer on 0121 204 4637 or l.a.russell1@aston.ac.uk.

Notes to Editors

  • The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI): EBRI has been established since 2007 and bioenergy research has been taking place at the University from as early as 1978. EBRI staff conduct world-class research into all aspects of bioenergy, ranging from fundamental research through development, to deployment of innovative technologies, in collaboration with industry. EBRI 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

  • The Pyroformer™ uses a form of intermediate pyrolysis. The reaction temperature for this process is around 450-500˚C, with a vapour residence time of a few seconds - the solids’ residence time can be varied as desired. As the reaction occurs under controlled heating levels it avoids the formation of tar which is problematic for other forms of pyrolysis as clogging occurs and prevents the machinery from working.

  • Further information about the Climate Week Awards can be found at www.climateweek.com 

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