A graphic introduction to Bioenergy

Click on the image above to read the comic.

What's the story?

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub’s aim is to “bring together industry, academia and other stakeholders to focus on the research and knowledge challenges associated with increasing the contribution of UK bioenergy to meet strategic environmental targets in a coherent, sustainable and cost-effective manner."

We regularly collaborate between ourselves, the industry and decision makers on our scientific findings but we have yet to embark on an active programme to tell the public about our work which is where the graphic novel comes in. On the 21st of March, we are launching a graphic novel/comic about bioenergy. Within the novel, it covers what bioenergy is, why we should use it, what are people worried about when we talk about bioenergy and how we ensure a future with bioenergy will be sustainable. 

In the graphic novel, we address a number of questions we often get asked as bioenergy researchers: "Why is it OK to cut down trees?" "Does it compete with food?" "Does it cause pollution?". This is a great time to find common ground with concerns over biomass, and address how we use research and policies to solve the issues. We also look into to future to see how bioenergy could be adopted and become a normal way of life for all of us.

Why does this matter?

This is so important! Our industrial stakeholders and Advisory Board identified public perception as one of the key barriers to the uptake of bioenergy. This way, no matter how amazing our findings are, if people do not understand them they will not accept them then we will get nowhere.

Why a comic?

We wanted to produce something that could reach to a wide audience, that was both captivating and highly informative. Graphic novels are basically extended infographics, using 'pictures to say 1000 words' and using text to make sure the reader understands what we are showing them.

Who produced it?

The comic was produced by a team of ten SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub  post-doctoral researchers working in the UK’s leading universities and research institutes on bioenergy. Five talented artists turned their research into graphics.

Where can I get a copy?

We are launching the graphic novel on Tuesday 21st of March at 5:30pm at Christie's Bistro, University of Manchester. For more infomation and to register for the event please click here.

 

 

Carly Whittaker

Rothamsted Research 

Carly has been working on the sustainability of bioenergy for over ten years.

 “The media only seems to show the negative aspects of using biomass. I made this comic because I want there to be a fair discussion about bioenergy”

 

Karen Finney

University of Sheffield

Karen has worked on advanced thermal biomass processes with carbon capture for 4 years.

 "A graphic novel is such an innovative way to inform people on bioenergy – our research produces lots of academic journal papers, but a comic is much more approachable . . . and really cool!”

 

Kui Zhang

University of Newcastle

Kui has been working the integration of plasma, catalysis and process intensification and its application in bioenergy production for over ten years.

 “The conversion of biomass/bio-waste into energy and value-added chemicals will make the world sustainable.”

 

Miao Guo

Imperial College London

Miao has been working on bioenergy systems modelling, optimisation and sustainability issues for last ten years.

 “General public opinions and community building are important for bioenergy research; comic is an innovative way for communication. With our joint efforts we are building our sustainable future.”

 

Mirjam Roeder

University of Manchester

Mirjam has been working in the fields of bioenergy, climate change and international development for over 10 years.

 “Bioenergy offers many opportunities but also has various challenges as every other energy sector. Academic research is important to provide independent scientific evidence. The comic will be an exciting way of making research findings easy to understand for everyone.” 

 

Nathan Skillen

Queen's Belfast

Nathan has been working on advanced technologies for the past 7 years

 “Communicating science is one of the hardest challenges we face. I helped with this comic cause it’s an exciting way to inform a wide range of people about an important topic”

 

Patrick Mason

University of Leeds

Patrick has worked as an Engineer for over 25 years on various energy-related technologies

 “Sourcing and delivering energy for the needs of the world without (further) harming the planet is THE challenge of the century. Bioenergy could help us achieve this". 

 

Rob Holland

University of Southampton

Rob is an ecologist who has worked on the sustainability of bioenergy for 7 years.

 “Bioenergy could play an important role in future energy systems if deployed in a way that balances societies need for energy and the social and environmental consequences of production”.

 

Scott Banks

Aston University

Scott has been working in the bioenergy field for eight years.

 “The general public need to be made aware that there are multiple options for renewable energy sources, not just wind turbines”.

 

Zakir Khan

University of Glasgow

Zakir has been working on technology development of bioenergy for last seven years.
 
“The public has a right to know about the advantages of using biomass over fossil fuels. This encourages me to be a part of this public engagement about bioenergy science in a very different and positive way".  
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