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EBRI unveils new facilities for bioenergy R&D

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) has unveiled new facilities which will allow it to expand its bioenergy research and knowledge transfer activity.

The new £16.5 million (€19 million) development, funded jointly by the University and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), features research suites, laboratories and technology demonstration facilities.

It also houses the only Pyroformer/gasifier bioenergy power plant operating in the UK, which will provide power, heat and cooling to the building as well as other parts of the university.

EBRI developed the Pyroformer bioenergy solution, which uses various waste sources to generate cost-effective heat and power. The biochar by-product can be used as a fertiliser to increase crop yields.

'In the UK we have a legally binding commitment to cut emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050,' said Julia King, vice chancellor of Aston University, at the unveiling. 'However we are aware that the UK will not meet its targets – and at an affordable cost – without new technologies and that is why have established our European Bioenergy Research Institute.'