Aston University led a successful, multi-million pound bid to
continue the UK's largest Bioenergy R&D consortium, SUPERGEN
Bioenergy, for a further four years.
The EPSRC-funded £6.4 million continuation will build on the
findings of the first four years of the project and extend the work
into promising new areas of bioenergy including renewable transport
fuels and biorefineries.
Research and development focuses on nine themes that span the entire
bioenergy chain: resources including marine biomass; characterisation
and pretreatment; nitrogen; thermal conversion; power and heat;
transport fuels and biorefinery; ammonia; and system analysis,
complemented by a dissemination and collaboration theme.
"We decided to continue to concentrate on our core strengths in
thermal processing of biomass, especially since this is the clear
direction bioenergy is taking in Europe, rather than diluting resources
to focus on new areas," said SUPERGEN Bioenergy manager Tony Bridgwater
of Aston University.
Work developed in the first four years of the project will be
expanded. SUPERGEN II will devote more attention to lower cost and
more varied sources of biomass, like rape straw and bark, because
growing competition for high quality biomass is expected to drive up
the price in future.
SUPERGEN Bioenergy II welcomes three new academic partners - Forest
Research, Imperial College and Policy Studies Institute - to total ten
organisations. Jenny Jones of Leeds University will oversee the
Industrial partners are set to increase from six to eleven
companies. One or more industry mentors will support each of the theme
leaders to manage and direct activities.
"Biomass is unique because it is the only source of renewable fixed
carbon and thus the world's only renewable source of conventional
transport hydrocarbon fuels and renewable chemicals. SUPERGEN
Bioenergy II aims to optimise the use of the UK's limited biomass and
support UK industry to develop competitive technology for home use and
export," said Tony Bridgwater.
"It takes about one per cent of the agricultural land to supply one
per cent of the electricity demand, so a real impact from bioenergy is
achievable, and SUPERGEN Bioenergy's research will help to make it
possible," said Jenny Jones.
SUPERGEN publishes British Bioenergy News, a biannual newsletter on
the latest bioenergy developments in the UK. For a free subscription
visit the website: www.supergen-bioenergy.net.
SUPERGEN also runs the Bioenergy Research Forum (BRF) where industry
and researchers meet every 6-8 months to discuss and exchange
information on bioenergy. Anyone interested in bioenergy can join the
meetings and apply to become an associate member of SUPERGEN free of
charge. For more information on the BRF, SUPERGEN Bioenergy or British
Bioenergy News, or to be added to the mailing list for the newsletter,
e-mail news bulletin or the BRF series of events, please contact Rob
Fenton (email@example.com or +44(0)121 2043398).