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Biowise awarded funding from UK government as part of Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme

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Leading composting and waste-management specialist, Biowise, has been awarded funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of Phase One of the Hydrogen BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture & Storage) Innovation Programme.

The Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme supports technologies which can produce hydrogen from biogenic feedstocks and be combined with carbon capture. It forms part of the BEIS £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.

The programme will run in two phases. Phase One, total budget £5 million, will support multiple projects to scope and develop a feasible prototype demonstration project to be run in Phase Two.

Hull-based Biowise is one of 22 organisations selected from across the UK to participate in the new programme, each receiving up to £250,000 of the Phase One funding.  Biowise will scope and develop the feasibility of processing waste compost oversize into a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers.

Operating in the municipal waste composting sector, Biowise processes some 200,000 tonnes per annum of garden and food wastes through three composting facilities.  Outputs include a range of quality compost grades, and an ‘over-size’ fraction of which comprises biomass materials (such as twigs, sticks and branches) which do not decompose within the composting process.

Accessing stable high value outlets for the compost over-size (COS) fraction is a challenge for the composting sector. Compared to other sources of waste wood, the material is generally unsuitable for direct combustion in energy from waste applications with the outcome being that the material is supplied into low value markets or sent for disposal.

“We are honoured to take part in this project. The present absence of established and stable high value fuel markets creates little incentive for compost site operators to invest in innovative processes to produce a higher quality fuel,” explained Biowise managing director Bob Wilkes.

“With Hydrogen BECCs Innovation Programme funding, we aim to develop a project that can process COS to produce a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers, addressing the current challenges associated with COS, and providing a fully biogenic feedstock for hydrogen BECCs supply chains.”

Energy Minister, Greg Hands, stated: “Accelerating home-grown renewables like biomass is a key part of ending our dependency on expensive and volatile fossil fuels.  This £37m of government investment will support innovation across the UK, boosting jobs whilst ensuring greater energy security for years to come.”

Following a successful period of growth, Biowise continues to seek opportunities to broaden its waste-processing infrastructure, which includes materials recycling, biomass and alternative fuel production facilities.  All Biowise compost-based products are certified to BSI PAS 100 and Compost Quality Protocol standards for use in horticulture, agriculture, landscaping and land restoration.