Thermal Power

15 Feb 2023

UK University Wins Funding for Biomass-To-Hydrogen Project

15 Feb 2023  by   

Aston University is to set up the first integrated center to explore low carbon hydrogen production from biomass conversion.

The new research center will be developed at Aston University with the help of a £300,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation, which will enable the University to acquire state-of-the-art equipment including for gasification, membrane separation and fuel cells. Having these technologies integrated within the new center will place Aston University at the forefront of hydrogen production and utilization based on biomass conversion and will strengthen its global research reputation in these areas.

The new equipment will be installed at the University’s campus-based Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute, which carries out world-leading 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 center will allow national and international collaborations on low carbon hydrogen production and use. The research topics will be closely aligned to both the U.K. 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 U.K.

“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 U.K.’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 utilize sustainable hydrogen as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. It is a crucial area of research.”

Aston University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aleks Subic, said, “This new center will help strengthen Aston University’s place as a national and global center of expertise for future energy.

“It will build on existing relationships with our industrial partners, facilitate future research collaborations, as well as support teaching of our students to make them better equipped to tackle one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. We are extremely grateful to the Wolfson Foundation for their continued support and for helping to make this center possible.”

The Wolfson Foundation awards grants for new buildings, refurbishment and equipment to support excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts and humanities. Aston University and EBRI researchers will enormously benefit from this grant which will open various opportunities for national and international collaborations with different stakeholders.

In May, June and September the EBRI plant will be opening its doors to professionals who want to enhance their careers with a short hands-on course in Practical Process Engineering. Click here more information.

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