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 Reine Westphalia (Germany) and Wallonia (Belgium). Waste materials such as straw, wood, algae and sewage sludge could 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 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.
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.
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."