Innovation Accelerator 

The Innovation Accelerator programme is investing £100 million in 26 transformative research and development projects including EBRI’s Biochar CleanTech Accelerator to accelerate the growth of three high-potential innovation clusters: Glasgow City Region, Greater Manchester and West Midlands. It’s led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation and the Department for Science and Innovation (DSIT).

EBRI Urban Biochar and Sustainable Materials Demonstrator

Video play button with urban landscape background

Discover about new biochar technology installed by the Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI), Aston University and its partners to combat climate change in Birmingham, UK and the surrounding area. In this short video you will hear how the ‘Urban Biochar & Sustainable Materials Demonstrator’ project led by EBRI is developing biochar for the benefit of city and town environments, and local economies; researching how biochar can be used as a soil enhancer in urban landscapes; conducting scientific modelling to assess the carbon capture merits of biochar.


Introduction to the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)

Image of Patricia Thornley, Director of EBRI

The Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University carries out world-leading research into new and innovative ways of converting biomass and waste into sources of sustainable energy and low carbon products, using thermochemical, biological and catalytic processes. Discover more from Professor Patricia Thornley, Director of EBRI, about 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.

Other films from EBRI

To see a selection of business testimonials and other short films produced by EBRI during past business support programmes see below.

  • Sustainability Master Class attendees click here

  • Other Business Reviews of past projects see below

  • To see all of EBRI’s films click here.

Russ Taylor, Velorim Ltd

Velorim based in Cannock, Staffordshire was spun out of a charity that recycles bicycles – specifically the rubber waste. In the UK, 30 million bicycle tyres, and 150 million inner tubes are disposed of per year, going straight into landfill.

Velorim Director, Russ Taylor is exploring alternative markets to reprocess these waste materials into bare constituent products that can be used in manufacturing. By attending the EBRI Value from Waste Master Class he discovered more about pyrolysis –  a process that can generate energy from waste, and how it compares economically to remanufacturing rubber waste.

Darren Bland, CQA International Ltd

CQA International based in Staffordshire specialises in environmental engineering solutions for the waste management and mining industries. One of the biggest challenges the company faces is dealing with the sheer quantities of waste.

According to Darren Bland of CQA, “Although technologies are moving forward, they are not moving forward as fast as waste streams are changing”. He attended the EBRI Value from Waste Master Class to get a broader understanding of general bioenergy technologies and where they are at currently.

Andrew Emery, Orca Enviro Systems (UK)

Andrew Emery of Orca Enviro Systems (UK) talks about the challenges of bringing their new patented waste management technology to the UK market.

His attendance of the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class held in Lichfield, West Midlands has allowed him the opportunity to get a high level of understanding of the current environment, and to network with other people in the same arena.

Oladimeji Ogunjimi, Boldstep Resources

Boldstep Resources, founded by Oladimeji Ogunjimi, specialises in managing waste items that can be reused, including metals such as aluminium. Oladimeji attended the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class, held in Lichfield, to enhance his understanding of opportunities in the energy from waste market.

Here he highlights what he sees as the two main challenges in waste management – technology and funding.

Helen Holman, Biomass and Sustainability Business Development

Helen Holman’s company provides a whole range of specialist marketing skills to the bioenergy sector. Here she gives an insight into how the two-day EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class has helped broaden her knowledge in this area.

She points out that that although end users are becoming more conscious of the sustainability angle, industry leaders haven’t quite fully cottoned onto this.

Anthony Walters, Spookfish

Anthony Walters from Spookfish, a small consultancy, helps businesses to identify cost savings and ultimately grow. Here he outlines the sectors he has engaged with and explains his commitment to low carbon voluntary work in his local area of Lichfield. He believes this has helped enhance his knowledge of the bioenergy sector and would like to see local communities taking control of their own future.

Eric Dauleu, Edenviro Biomass

Eric Dauleu is from a recently established company Edenviro Biomass based in Ludlow. The business produces sustainable and quality biomass fuel and provides a consultancy service. Here he discusses the challenge of being part of a new business and how the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class highlighted areas he has not previously considered, made him aware of new technologies and allowed him to meet local businesses.

Maurice Bottomley, Lodge Cottrell

Maurice Bottomley of Lodge Cottrell supplies flue gas treatment systems and develops energy from waste projects. He talks about his passion for the industry and highlights the breadth and scope of pursuing a career in the bioenergy resource management sector. He’s keen to develop his knowledge and points out how his attendance at the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class has enhanced this, in addition to providing a valuable networking opportunity with the other attendees.

Richard Collins, MJS Alternative Heating Solutions

Richard Collins business MJS Alternative Heating Solutions provides mechanical and electrical plumbing and heating installations, with a focus on alternative heating systems such as biomass boilers using logs, chips and pellets. Here he explains how the renewable sector is changing and how the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class has given him a better understanding of some of the potential products he is considering, as well as new innovations and cutting edge technology.

Ajinder Bains, BeeEco

Ajinder Bains of BeeEco explains how the fully funded solar panel business works and how the company is just about to launch a new product called ice cold. He talks about his interest in renewable energy, how he is keen to explore the world of biomass and comments on how his attendance at the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class has given him a great deal of food for thought.

Nik Muhammad, Pioneers Associates

Pioneers Associates’ Nik Muhammad outlines the work of the transport business he represents and talks about how the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class enabled him to consider new technologies and how they can be implemented on a number of different levels. In addition to the important role businesses need to play in the future.

Gareth Emberton, Emberton Environmental

Gareth Emberton’s company Emberton Environmental focusses on the horticultural landscape and construction sectors. Here he highlights the need to learn about new opportunities for green waste acknowledging what a huge sector this is. He comments after spending two days at the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class he won’t quite look at waste in the same way again.

Derek Jones, SER Technologies

Specialising in renewable energy solutions, Derek Jones from SER Technologies, discusses his interest in the waste to energy sector and how relevant to their business the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class proved to be, particularly the sessions on combustion, gasification and pyrolysis. He plans to continue working with EBRI to discover more about pyrolysis plants.

Cath Edwards, Credibly Green Ltd

Credibly Green helps businesses to look at their waste, as well as energy and water use to save money. Here, Cath Edwards of Credibly Green describes the current drivers for companies to look at the need to measure their environmental impact, and how she has benefited from attending the ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class at EBRI, Aston University.

Oliver Lloyd, Modus Waste & Recycling Ltd

Oliver Lloyd’s company Modus Waste & Recycling based in Stourbridge collects food waste from  local businesses. Their main objective is to divert waste from the landfill process and put it back into the community, through the most efficient process. Here he gives an overview of how the EBRI ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class has helped him broaden his knowledge of the various state-of–the–art technologies available to process different types of waste. To see more about his company click here.

Andrew Goddard, Freeland Horticulture Ltd

Andrew, of Freeland Horticulture, a nationwide producer and supplier of soils, talks about the challenges of converting waste streams containing plastics into viable material that can be put into soil. He attended the EBRI Master Class to gain an insight into the various thermochemical technologies and processes which could help his business meet this challenge

Arun Luther, Genesis Innovations Ltd

Arun Luther of Genesis Innovations in Birmingham provides help to SMEs, including start-up companies, to develop technology solutions and to raise finance for their business growth needs. One of his current projects, for instance, revolves around plastic recycling, and he is looking at ways that ‘end-of-life’ plastic can be converted into fuel. The EBRI Master Class provided Arun with the opportunity to meet other businesses and to explore potential opportunities for him to provide assistance in his specialist area.

Colin Oakley, Ozone Efficiency

Colin Oakley, Managing Director of Ozone Efficiency specialises in reducing problems for other companies, including cutting chemical bills, energy bills and reducing waste. Here he explains how he found the EBRI Bioenergy Master Class enlightening, and how it has given him ideas about new markets for his product, which he previously would not have considered.

Darren Wright, Uniconfort – UK Ltd

Darren Wright of biomass boiler manufacturer, Uniconfort, is working with Absotherm Services, a producer and importer of absorption chillers. Together they are collaborating to create cooling from heat. The EBRI Bioenergy Master Class has given him a deeper understanding of waste products and how they can be used productively, for instance for fuels from waste.

David Thompson, Agripellets Ltd

Agripellets Ltd process agricultural residues, primarily straw and Miscanthus grass grown in the West Midlands area, into pellets. Here David Thompson describes how historically Agripellets have supplied these pellets for power generation and commercial heat, and by attending the EBRI Bioenergy Master Class at Aston University has helped him explore other ways of adding value to these products.

Donna Galt, Marketing & Sustainability Consultant

Sustainability and Marketing Consultant, Donna Galt helps businesses to understand the value of becoming more sustainable and how that can lead to new product and service design. Having attended the EBRI Bioenergy Master Class at Aston University, she explains how it enlightened her about the breadth of potential growth areas for business.

Eva Martinez, EST Translations

Eva Martinez of EST Translations provides environmental translational services to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) on both a local and international basis. She attended the two-day EBRI Bioenergy Master Class to get a better understanding of the technology and processes used in this area, and to engage with Aston University, as well as other businesses.

Fabion Wasa, Ariise Technologies Ltd

Fabion’s company Ariise Technologies, is a start-up business which supplies technology solutions to help improve people’s lives in third world countries, particularly in the areas of preparing food, accessing energy and cleaner water, as well as hospital equipment. He attended the EBRI Master Class to gain a better understanding of bioenergy, and for guidance and ideas on how to take his prototype to market.

Hadrian Garner, Severn Group Ltd

Hadrian Garner of Severn Group, a mechanical engineering and commercial gas company based in Stourport, talks about his company’s involvement in bioenergy and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants. Following on from attending the EBRI Bioenergy Master Class at Aston University, he is thinking ahead about future commercial opportunities in the areas of bioenergy and biodigestion.

Jaymish Patel and Viral Patel, Biofuel Evolution Ltd

Aston University graduates and business partners Jaymish Patel and Viral Patel are exploring ways to convert waste streams into liquid biofuels. Their start-up company Biofuel Evolution is looking to convert food waste from restaurants and cafes etc. into bioethanol utilising the pyrolysis process. Here they describe how the EBRI Bioenergy Master Class has helped inspire their business vision.

Jenny Rohde, Jones Newton Ltd

Jenny gives advice and support to companies regarding strategic marketing to help them improve their competitive positioning. Her clients include engineering companies in the environmental, manufacturing and water sectors. She attended the EBRI Master Class to gain an insight into the bioenergy market and the potential opportunities it could provide to her clients.

John Seaward, Tudor Griffiths Group

Tudor Griffiths Group, based in North Shropshire is a leading supplier of construction materials and building supplies, ready mixed concrete, waste management and recycling. The company’s Finance Director, John Seaward gives an overview of the company’s biomass project, and how attending the EBRI Master Class held at the unique CoRE building in Stoke has broadened his understanding of bioenergy and how everything fits together.

Lesley-Jane and Robin Powell, Landmark Associates Ltd

Miscanthus growers Lesley-Jane and Robin Powell talk about the potential benefits of growing this grass bioenergy crop on brown field sites in the West Midlands, and how it could benefit local communities. They describe how the EBRI Bioenergy Class which they attended has provided them with a central point of contact for advice and useful network links, and how the experience gained can help them develop their ideas.

Martin Mullan, The Big Changes Company

Martin’s company helps organisations improve value in the eyes of their own individual customers. This includes helping businesses identify areas of waste, both on a physical and practical basis. Here he describes how by attending the EBRI Bioenergy Master Class has brought value to him, in terms of gaining knowledge and networking opportunities.

Peter Francis, Midland Automation Technology Ltd

Peter runs Midland Automation Technology which designs and builds control systems for process plants including gasification plants, and biomass handling. He is working on a joint project with Concertive Engineering Services Ltd in Sedgley, West Midlands, and by attending the EBRI Master Class he was able to find out more about bioenergy, resources and practices, and to get ideas about process benefits they can introduce to the project.

Paul Eaton, Phoenix Wood Pellets

Phoenix Wood Pellets in Cradley Heath, West Midlands manufacture Grade A and B wood pellets for biomass markets to be used in various heating products. Here, Paul Eaton describes his interest in renewable energy, and recommends the two-day EBRI Master Class as a good grounding for anyone joining the bioenergy industry.

Sanjay Aggarwal, Spice Kitchen and Recorked UK

Sanjay Aggarwal, based in Birmingham runs two businesses: Spice Kitchen, a spice and tea manufacturer; and Recorked UK, the leading UK cork recycling scheme, predominantly from used wine stoppers. He attended the EBRI Bioenergy Master Class event to gain an understanding of alternative potential uses of the corks, e.g. as a biomass feedstock and a biofuel.

Tony Pickess, Gemidan Ltd

Gemidan have developed a high performance pre-treatment technology for food waste for use in the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) sector. Tony attended the EBRI Master Class to learn more about the broader bioenergy sector. Here he gives an overview of the scale of food waste in the UK, and how renewable energy can play a part in making better use of it.