Feedstock Investigation

EBRI acts as a worldwide centre for research into biomass production. We develop new ways of extracting energy from all types feedstocks including biomass

As the search for viable alternatives to expensive, finite fossil fuels continues, innovative renewables such as biomass feedstock offer a compelling alternative. 

Alternative feedstocks such as Biomass are rapidly emerging as a competitive and environmentally sustainable fuel source that could dramatically shrink our carbon footprint and open new market opportunities for companies worldwide.

What is Feedstock?

Feedstock is broken down into different classifications, and depending on their characteristics, some may be better suited for bioenergy processes than others. Understanding feedstocks is essential to understanding how they can be processed and the nature of the end product. For example, some feedstocks are rich in a substance known as lignin. While this is ideal in some circumstances, it may make them unusable in others, e.g Anaerobic Digestion (AD), as bacteria cannot easily digest it.

Feedstocks are classified according to their:

  • Origin (e.g. terrestrial or marine)
  • Composition (e.g. cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin)
  • Source (e.g. first-generation and second-generation or non-food based biomass)
  • Whether it has been subjected to any bio or thermochemical treatment (e.g. virgin and non-virgin).

Feedstock analysis

EBRI has an impressive range of expertise and laboratories able to analyse a wide range of feedstock, conversion processes and products. We can also analyse whole systems and identify complementary effects in which where residue from one method can become a feedstock in another improving economics and net energy yields.


EBRI opened in 2013, yet Aston University has been committed to developing renewables and bioenergy technologies since the 1970s. Complete with purpose-built state-of-the-art facilities such as a 0.5MW Gasifier power plant, our experts have been able to call on a rich history of research expertise alongside access to world-leading biomass processing facilities and analytical tools.

Feedstock Research at EBRI

We are working on a variety of approaches to feedstock at Aston:

  • Test Feedstocks: We are testing Miscanthus, sugar cane bugus and wood in EBRI’s fast pyrolysis research to produce biofuels.
  • EBRI’s Pyrogas research project is using intermediate pyrolysis to process AD residues, poultry manure and sewage sludge among other feedstocks.
  • EBRI’s SUPERGEN research project is looking at increasing energy yield through the integration of pyrolysis with AD and is utilising residues from MSW (municipal solid waste). De-inked sludge and other waste materials from the paper industry have also been tested for gasification and pyrolysis applications.
  • Other feedstock research at EBRI has utilised pig manure, compost, dairy fibre, meat and bonemeal and spent Brewers’ grain for fast and/or intermediate pyrolysis research.


Contact us

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

To contact us, email the EBRI Business Support Team, visit Bioenergy for Business or call us on 0121 204 3383.

Energy and Bioproducts Research institute (EBRI)

Aston University

Aston Triangle


B4 7ET