The Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI), based at Aston University in Birmingham, develops and provides practical bioenergy and energy systems solutions for companies and local authorities in the UK, Europe and beyond.
Redundant material such as food waste, cardboard boxes, plastic waste, textile residues, sawdust, waste oils, manure, hay straw, sugar beet residue, spent grain waste from breweries are only a few examples of waste that could potentially open up fresh possibilities for your business.
At EBRI we help organisations explore the growing Energy-from-Waste (EfW) and bioproducts markets and the opportunities they offer. We offer specialist support, cutting-edge technologies and bespoke events, including the highly acclaimed EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class.
We have been committed to the research and development of sustainable energy technologies and solutions since the 1970s. Our team of internationally-renowned researchers focuses on methods of generating energy, fuels and chemicals from biomass, wastes and residues.
EBRI 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
Our capabilities cover the breadth of advanced thermal, and catalytic conversion processes. These include gasification, pyrolysis, catalysis and upgrading of biomass, wastes and plastics to high quality products and fuels.
Allied to this is EBRI’s expertise in environmental, social and economic impacts of bioenergy systems; smart distributed energy systems; supply chains; logistics; analytics; energy 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.
The £21m Institute has seven laboratories, meeting spaces and a gasification pilot plant, incorporating a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine that can provide the heat, electricity and cooling needs of the building and part of the University’s campus. It is the first demonstration plant of its kind in the UK, incorporating interoperable distributed energy technologies which can support the traditional energy system through demand side grid management. This unique development offers a number of uses from powering electric vehicles to a low carbon network for cities.
Research equipment includes: a wide range of laboratory scale pyrolysis, gasification and hydrothermal processing reactors; catalytic upgrading facilities; extensive analysis and characterisation equipment; catalyst design, production and characterisation facilities; biorefinery and process modelling capability; algae production; a 400 kg/h fluid bed gasifier and a 400 kWe CHP engine..
EBRI is a unique hub of bioenergy research and technology development. It is home to academic and industry facing teams that aim to accelerate the commercial development of emerging energy, bioproducts and supporting technologies.
EBRI and the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)
Aston University is a partner of ERA which draws on the expertise and world-class facilities of many of the Midlands Innovation group of universities. It is funded by Innovate UK, with match funding and support supplied by a range of industrial partners who are working with ERA on a range of projects across the Midlands. EBRI leads the ‘5BIO scheme’ which stimulates innovation and knowledge transfer between businesses, scientists and chemical engineers across renewable biomass, biorefining, bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts.
EBRI and SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub
In 2018, the SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub relocated to Aston University, when Hub Director, Professor Patricia Thornley was appointed as EBRI’s new Director. The £5.1m EPSRC and BBSRC Supergen project aims to bring together academic, industry and policy stakeholders to focus on the research challenges associated with delivering sustainable bioenergy systems.