European Bioenergy Research Institute shortlisted for two national awards

The EBRI Pyroformer
EBRI is through to the final stage of both the Energy Institute Awards and the Green Gown Awards for its Pyroformer™

17 September 2012

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University in Birmingham has been shortlisted for two prestigious national energy awards. EBRI is through to the final stage of both the Energy Institute Awards and the Green Gown Awards for its Pyroformer™ technology - an innovative sustainable energy solution developed by EBRI researchers – that could dramatically reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The Pyroformer™ offers the solution to many of the problems other renewable energy solutions have generated. The EBRI Pyroformer™ uses a patented heat transfer mechanism to pyrolyse and chemically process waste material in a single step using a coaxial Archimedes screw system and an externally heated jacket. 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.

EBRI has been shortlisted in the ‘Technology’ category of the Energy Institute Awards 2012. These Awards recognise individuals and organisations in the global energy industry who are setting new standards of excellence and innovation and who are developing the technologies and initiatives world economies need to succeed. The winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony hosted by Colin Jackson CBE (former World, European and Commonwealth 110m hurdles champion) in London on 15November.

The EBRI Pyroformer™ has also been shortlisted in the ‘Research and Development’ category of the Green Gown Awards 2012. Now in their eighth year, the Green Gown Awards, run by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), are recognised as the most prestigious recognition of sustainability excellence within the further and higher education sector. The ‘Research and Development’ category celebrates research-based and knowledge-transfer activities within universities and colleges which have had tangible effects on sustainability. The winners of the Green Gown Awards 2012 will also be announced in November.

Professor Andreas Hornung, Director of EBRI at Aston University, believesEBRI’s work offers more than just energy solutions: “We believe the Pyroformer™ will be a key stimulator of growth and jobs and the reaction of the business community so far has been extremely enthusiastic. Being shortlisted for these awards has confirmed EBRI’s importance in delivering real-life solutions for tackling biomass residues and waste, with both environmental and financial benefits for households, businesses and local authorities. If you are looking for a clean energy source that ensures energy security and market growth without damaging people or planet, EBRI already has the solution.” 

For further information, please contact Louise Russell, EBRI Marketing & Communications Officer on 0121 204 4637 or at 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.

  • Shortlisted applications to the Green Gown Awards 2012 and further information about the Awards can be found at: www.greengownawards.org.uk.

  • Further information about the Energy Institute Awards 2012 can be found at: www.energyinst.org/events/ei-awards