Bioenergy North West launched at Harper Adams

10 April 2012

Guest speakers at the launch event, in the pyroformer building at Harper Adams: Professor Dr Andreas Hornung, Director of the European Bioenergy Research Institute, Aston University, front, with, L-R, Professor Alison Halstead, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Innovation, Aston University; Sandy Taylor, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability Birmingham City Council and Professor Peter Mills, Vice-Principal Harper Adams University College
Guest speakers at the launch event, in the pyroformer building at Harper Adams: Professor Dr Andreas Hornung, Director of the European Bioenergy Research Institute, Aston University, front, with, L-R, Professor Alison Halstead, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Innovation, Aston University; Sandy Taylor, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability Birmingham City Council and Professor Peter Mills, Vice-Principal Harper Adams University College

Harper Adams University College hosted the launch of an innovative, £11m bioenergy project, which will see five European countries work together to develop initiatives that will significantly reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

BioenNW (Bioenergy North West) is focused on promoting the use of green bioenergy power facilities fuelled by waste materials across five regions of North West Europe: West Midlands (UK), Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Ile-de-France (France), North Reine Westphalia (Germany) and Wallonia (Belgium). Waste materials such as straw, wood, algae and sewage sludge could potentially be explored as sources of biofuel, therefore removing any reliance on the production of dedicated food crops.

As part of the project, Bioenergy Support Centres (BSC) have been created in these regions to support companies, organisations and local authorities to deliver local bioenergy more efficiently and cost-effectively. The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) based at Aston University in Birmingham is the lead partner of this EU funded INTERREG IVB project and will be the Bioenergy Support Centre for the West Midlands, officials announced at the overall project launch at Harper Adams. 

Harper Adams is one of the BioenNW West Midlands partners, alongside Aston University, Birmingham City Council and Birmingham City University. The University College is currently home to a pyroformer, new technology that can generate heat and power from biomass, which is undergoing a series of trials before it is moved to EBRI. 

Harper Adams Vice-Principal Professor Peter Mills said: “Harper Adams was delighted to host the launch event for the Bioenergy project and is delighted also to be able to house the pyroformer equipment. Maximising energy production from waste materials sits well with our emphasis at Harper Adams on research into sustainable, low carbon agri-food systems."

Each Bioenergy Support Centre offers leading edge bioenergy demonstration plants, scientific demonstration facilities, a bioenergy decision support tool to help organisations decide on their best bioenergy solution, a comprehensive document library plus training and educational materials. 

Speaking at the launch, Professor Andreas Hornung, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University, said: “The field of bioenergy is expanding rapidly, with successful installations, innovative applications and investment opportunities appearing on a regular basis. BioenNW will help to make local bioenergy initiatives a reality by demonstrating that bioenergy is truly a green and sustainable energy solution for organisations and communities throughout North West Europe.” 

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