Published on 26/04/2021
EBRI gasifier
  • Virtual tour planned April 28 2021 for the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute
  • A senior engineer at EBRI will virtually guide participants through the EBRI Pilot Plant
  • The tour is part of the STEM UP initiative

A virtual tour is going live this week to give chemical and engineering students the chance to explore the science and technology behind a biomass gasifier.

The EBRI Pilot Plant is a is a highly instrumented process plant with a 1 MW gasifier and a 400 kW engine for combined heat and power generation, and viewers will be able to have virtual access to it.

Due to some applied STEM courses recommending that students should be making industrial site visits but with COVID-19 restrictions currently in place across the UK, the tour will be a chance for students to learn more about the process and see ‘behind the scenes’.

The virtual tour will be conducted by Dr Clara Serrano, senior engineer at the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute, and she will be demonstrating how reactors, mechanical and electrical equipment work in a highly instrumented process plant.

Dr Serrano said: “This is the perfect opportunity for students and academics to virtually tour such a fascinating resource we have at EBRI. We have been doing face-to-face tours for a few years now and they have always been successful, however with the restrictions currently in place, this is an opportunity to work through these and have access to the site.”

EBRI has eight state-of-the-art analytical and processing laboratories, allowing world-leading research on new ways of converting biomass into sources of sustainable energy.

The Institute acts as a focus for worldwide activities on scientific and technological aspects of biomass production, conversion, and utilisation of products for renewable power, heat, transport fuels, hydrogen, and chemicals.

This virtual tour is part of the STEM UP initiative. STEM UP works with residents in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area to help them gain new science technology engineering maths (STEM), science technology engineering art maths (STEAM) and soft skills.

The virtual tour will take place on Wednesday, 28 April between 11am and noon. To register, visit this link.



Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. The University also has TEF Gold status in the Teaching Excellence Framework. 

About EBRI

EBRI’s capabilities cover the breadth of advanced thermal technologies and biological conversion processes. These include gasification, pyrolysis, catalysis, and the thermochemical refining of biomass, wastes and plastics to high quality products and fuels. Allied to this is EBRI’s expertise in energy systems, supply chains, techno-economic analysis, transport logistics, analytics, engines and power systems. The institute welcomes collaboration opportunities with academia, government bodies and industry both locally and internationally and actively bids for new research and industrial engagement projects to bring further benefits to the Midlands region. For more information go to or email


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