Research Strategy Topics

The Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University carries out world-leading research into new sources of sustainable energy


EBRI is constantly searching for new and innovative ways of converting biomass into sources of sustainable energy, using thermochemical, biological and catalytic processes. With seven laboratories, including two industrially-focussed laboratories, we are able to tackle many different elements of commercial research. This means EBRI can offer a full cycle of support, from fundamental analytical-scale research through to semi-industrial demonstrator research. 

Our research strategy can be broken down into the following cross-cutting topics.

Thermochemical Conversion

EBRI’s Thermochemical Conversion research focuses on the thermal and catalytic transformation of lignocellulosic biomass and waste feedstocks into valuable fuels, chemicals and materials that are relevant to industry and society. We have strong capabilities in the development and application of pyrolysis, gasification, and hydrothermal processing technologies from bench to pilot-scale.

Conversion: Evaluation, Optimisation and Modelling

Different modelling approaches are used to predict and analyse the behaviour of conversion processes and energy systems to support feasibility studies and improving existing processes and systems. Typically, the use of multi-objective optimisation is needed where decision making is concerned with different, and sometimes contradicting, objectives, and includes negotiating trade-offs.

Biological Conversion

Industrial biotechnology offers a huge potential to impact on the bioeconomy to mitigate climate change through the development of greener and cleaner manufacturing processes. We explore the potential of natural and genetically modified microorganisms using an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to transform biomass resources to create bio-based products for application in areas such as bioplastics, biofuels and healthcare.

Systems Integration Analysis

The EBRI Systems Analysis group focusses on the assessment and integration of environmental, social and economic aspects of energy and bioproducts. The aim is to inform the design and deployment of sustainability approaches, policy and markets, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals and a regional, national, and international transition to an affordable and fair low-carbon bioeconomy.

Catalytic Conversion

Catalytic technologies play a critical role in economic development and the transition to a carbon-neutral and zero-waste economy. In EBRI, catalysis research is focussed on developing novel catalysts for the transformation of biomass and waste using state-of-the-art facilities. The four main areas of research are:

1) Bioenergy (synthesis and upgrading of gas and liquid fuels);
2) Bioproducts (catalysts for production of chemicals and polymers building blocks);
3) Net zero (CO2 capture and conversion);
4) Circular economy (catalytic solutions for waste reduction and waste conversion).


EBRI offers state-of-the-art analytical characterisation facilities for biomass feedstock, biofuels, intermediates, biochar and catalytic materials. Application of professional standards (ASTM and CEN) and in-house protocols for feedstock characterisation as well as biological and thermochemical conversion processes allows us to improve understanding of the biorefinery processes including process mechanism, assessment, modelling and commercialisation.


We evaluate biomass and waste processing technologies in conjunction with supply chains, markets, policy and regulation. The evaluation aims to deliver deeper insights into the environmental, social and economic sustainability of bioenergy and bio-products and how these may evolve in different policy and regulatory frameworks.

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