Aston University successful at Green Gown Awards

Go Green Awards

7 November 2012

Aston University has been ‘highly commended’ for two projects in the prestigious Green Gown Awards.

A new sustainable energy technology developed by researchers from Aston’s European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), and the refurbishment of Aston’s historic Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre were both nominated for Green Gown Awards and were praised by the judging panel.

The Awards, which celebrate the best in sustainability initiatives being taken by colleges and universities, were held in Birmingham this week (Monday 5 November).

EBRI’s Pyroformer™ technology was seen by judges as having a “major impact” in the field of renewable energy and beyond, and was highly commended in the Research and Development category. The Pyroformer™ is capable of transforming waste material into useful forms of heat, electricity and power. Tests show that unlike other bioenergy solutions, the emission- free technology 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 multi-million pound refurbishment of Aston’s Grade II listed Woodcock Sports Centre and swimming pool, was shortlisted in the Construction and Refurbishment category. It was praised for its ability to combine modern and improved sports facilities within a historic building context. Judges highlighted the refurbished building’s increased space and facilities, alongside its improved energy and water efficiency. The Centre houses Birmingham’s oldest working swimming pool, built in 1902.

Victoria Johnsen, Environmental and Sustainability Officer at Aston University, said; “Aston University is committed to improving its environmental performance. A Green Gown Award demonstrates that sustainability is truly embedded in everything we do, and provides recognition for all those whose hard work and determination went into making these particular projects a success.”

The Green Gowns are a further success for Aston University, following its Platinum EcoCampus Award - one of only seven universities to achieve this accolade. Aston has also maintained a top 20 position in the People & Planet Green League table for the last four years.


Notes to Editors

EBRI’s Pyroformer™

EBRI’s Pyroformer™ is capable of processing up to 100 kg/h of biomass feed, which when coupled with a Gasifier, will have an output of 400 kWeI – the equivalent to providing power for 800 homes. It uses a patented heat transfer mechanism to heat and chemically process waste material in a single step using a coaxial Archimedes screw system and an externally heated jacket. When the new European Bioenergy Research Institute building opens on the Aston campus in January 2013, the Pyroformer™ will provide all of the heat, electricity and cooling needed to power the building. This will help Aston University’s ambitious carbon reduction plans of reducing its carbon emissions by 53 per cent by 2020.

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

The European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University 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