EBRI combines expertise in thermochemical, biological and catalytic conversion of biomass to develop sustainable energy systems that can deliver solutions for energy and bioproducts from sustainable resources in a regional and global context.  

EBRI’s goal is to use sustainable resources to deliver an affordable, resilient and low-carbon energy future. We will do this by pursuing 3 cross-cutting and 1 integrative objective applied to our core experimental capabilities in thermochemical, catalytic and biological conversion of biomass and waste. These are:

  • 1. Characterise feedstocks and products

  • 2. Measure conversion/technology performance

  • 3. Model process energetic, economic and environmental performance

  • 4. Integrate expertise in supply chains, markets, policy and regulation to develop sustainable systems

Meet the Leadership Team

Professor Patricia Thornley
EBRI Director

Professor Tony Bridgwater
EBRI Director of Research Implementation

Tim Miller 
EBRI Director of Engagement

Dr Katie Chong 
EBRI Director of Research Outputs

Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University

The Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University in central Birmingham is a unique hub of bioenergy research and technology development.

EBRI is home to both academic and industry-facing teams that aim to accelerate the commercial development of emerging renewable energy, bioenergy, bioproducts and supporting technologies.

Our research and technology capabilities include a range of advanced thermal technologies and biological conversion processes. These include gasification, pyrolysis, catalysis, and thermochemical refining of biomass, wastes and plastics to high-quality products and fuels. We also provide valuable expertise in energy systems, supply chains, techno-economic analysis, transport logistics, analytics, engines and energy systems.

EBRI itself is the result of a £20 million investment designed to support the development of a regional bioenergy supply chain and to promote the uptake of innovative new bioenergy technologies across the West Midlands region.

Demonstration facilities at EBRI used in collaborative projects include a unique 1 MW, fully instrumented gasification pilot plant, a combined heat and power facility capable of meeting the heat, electricity and cooling needs of the building and UK-first demand-side managemet and vehicle to grid capability.

This unique development has unlocked a range of possibilities, from providing power to electric vehicles to creating low carbon networks for cities.

EBRI: Powering Birmingham

We are recognised as a major science and technical asset to the city, helping to reduce its carbon footprint and increase its energy efficiency. Our impact is not only environmental, however, as we have a successful track record of attracting inward investment from around the world and generating value for the local manufacturing and service sectors as a result.

As part of our commitment to the environment and the local area, we are currently supporting the development of a regional supply chain that will bring benefits to the region, in addition to helping create new and exciting high-growth sectors in the field of Smart Cities, unlocking opportunities nationally and internationally.

We have particular expertise in power management technologies, such as algorithmic demand-side management and the “internet of energy”.

Knowledge Transfer and Economic Impact

Independent feedback* on the impact of EBRI on the local West Midlands business community indicates that 100% of businesses felt that the support received from EBRI had had a positive impact on their company:

  • 47% said EBRI improved their competitiveness;
  • 76.5% said EBRI increased their awareness of bioenergy;
  • 26% had invested in bioenergy;
  • 28% had placed more orders with suppliers;
  • 28% of businesses had increased their investment in Research, Development and Innovation.

In accordance with HM Treasury "Green Book" methodologies, the economic impact of EBRI’s support for businesses included:

  • The creation of 234 new jobs in the West Midlands, including the provision of support to businesses and the wider supply chain;
  • An increase of over £28.9 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) through business support;
  • An increase in RD&I spend of over £1.97 million after businesses partnered with EBRI.

* EBRI Interim Evaluation Reports published June 2015 and April 2019

  • EBRI has supported 387 small and medium sized enterprises in the West Midlands (Oct 2020);
  • 211 companies have attended EBRI’s highly acclaimed ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class and Challenge Based Consultations – devised to help SMEs develop new products and services;
  • 97% of EBRI Master Class business attendees have rated the two-day course as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’.

We welcome collaboration opportunities with academia, government bodies and industry from the local region, and from around the globe. We are actively bidding for new research and industrial engagement projects to bring further benefits to the city’s economy.

Contact us at ebri@aston.ac.uk or visit www.bioenergy-for-business.org

Short Films

For a selection of short films about how EBRI is working to combat climate change, lead research into sustainable energy, and help companies achieve sustainability goals, visit our Short Films page.


Aston University offers a wide range of training opportunities including CPD courses and Masters's courses.

CPD Course - Practical Process Engineering
Job effectiveness and problem-solving requires multidisciplinary skills that are usually learnt on the job. For timely project delivery and minimum downtimes, industry requires engineers to interact with specialists from different areas of expertise and understand their jargon. Through workshops and live demonstrations in a complex process plant, this course will boost your confidence and expand your practical skills so that you can apply them in your workplace.

Contact us

We welcome collaboration opportunities with academia, government bodies and industry from around the world.

To contact us email ebri@aston.ac.uk

Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)

Aston University 

Aston Triangle 


B4 7ET 


The Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)

Discover the work that EBRI’s academic and industry-facing teams are doing to help the world meet its ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change, from Professor Patricia Thornley, Director of EBRI.

You may also be interested in:

Current Activities

How we support businesses