Aston University receives €341k grant for biomass conversion centre

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Aston University has announced it has been awarded a £300,000 (€341k) grant from the Wolfson Foundation, which will allow it to set up the first integrated centre to explore low carbon hydrogen production from biomass conversion.
The new research centre will be developed at Aston University, and the grant will enable the institution to acquire state-of-the-art equipment, including for gasification, membrane separation and fuel cells. The university said that the integration of these technologies within the new centre will place it at the forefront of hydrogen production and utilisation based on biomass converstion, strengthening its global research reputation in these areas.
The new equipment will be installed at the university’s campus-based Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI), which carries out research into new and innovative ways of converting biomass into sources of sustainable energy, using thermochemical, biological and catalytic processes.
It is expected that this research centre will allow national and international collaborations on low carbon hydrogen production and use.
The research topics will be closely aligned to both the UK Government’s target to transition to net zero by 2050 and to future sustainable energy worldwide.
Professor Patricia Thornley, director of EBRI, said: “We are delighted to receive this generous grant which will help place EBRI at the forefront of hydrogen technology development in the UK.
“Researchers have a crucial role to play in supporting new energy technologies and this new facility will contribute to the Government’s 2050 net zero target.
“As well as all the new opportunities this holistic and novel approach will bring, it will involve diverse stakeholders including policy makers, academics, industrialists, etc.
“I am looking forward to using the new facilities to support industrialists and developers progressing technology scale-up in this important area.”
Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “Aston University’s Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute is well-placed to support the UK’s continuing journey towards achieving net zero. We are delighted to be supporting new facilities which will help them deepen their collaboration with industry in efforts to generate, store and utilise sustainable hydrogen as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. It is a crucial area of research.”

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