Birmingham Vision 2026

The city of Birmingham has set a target of 60 % reduction in CO2 emissions by the year 2026. The EBRI has therefore initiated a joint collaboration with the Universities (Birmingham Universty, Birmingham City University, Warwick University, Harper Adams University College and Aston University) in the region West Midlands for a joint collaboration in order to achieve this goal.

Professor Andreas Hornung, Head of EBRI presented an analysis of the challenges facing Birmingham and the region in reducing carbon emissions to the council and regional development agency Advantage Westmidlands (AWM). The technology developed by EBRI relates to turn cheap ash rich biomass feedstock into vapour phase through pyrolysis and then gasification in a Gasifier to produce clean syngas which can be applied in number of ways. Waste from the city combined with that from Severn Trent water would provide enough feedstock to reach the set targets.

EBRI also deals with the processes by which residues from biogas, waste wood, sewage sludge and ground service materials could be used to produce CO (for heat and power) and hydrogen. Biochar one of the products of the process could be used in many ways such as to fertilise agricultural lands, to recover brown fields, to store the char as such in mines so that it could be used in the future or to co-combust along with coal in power plants.

The scheme provided an innovative solution to integrate the countryside with the city centre by creating a so called ‘thermal ring’ in and around Birmingham. The scheme would offer and cater the 580Gwh of power (the current consumption by the council) required to make the city green. Additionally it also offers a hydrogen grid with up to 60 tonnes per day (relatively much cheaper production when compared to electrolysis) and consumes 300,000 tonnes of biomass per year. The whole proposed project offers opportunities for research, and for scenarios to be developed by the universities’ business schools as well as creating a research platform suitable for funding by funding bodies such as EPSRC.

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