About us

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub works with academia, industry, government and societal stakeholders to develop sustainable bioenergy systems that support the UK’s transition to an affordable, resilient, low-carbon energy future.

The Hub is funded jointly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and is part of the wider Supergen Programme.

The Hub is based at Aston University under the direction of Professor Patricia Thornley, and management is undertaken by the Core Management Group (CMG), comprising representatives from each of the core academic institutions, along with the Chair of the Advisory Board and a representative from the Chairs of the SHARE network.

The latest phase of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub launched in November 2018 and will run until October 2022.

The Hub’s work programme covers the full chain of bioenergy – find out more in the Research section.

Research overview

The vision of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub is to enable and stimulate the development of a sustainable UK bioenergy sector. This is supported through the Hub’s whole-system research approach that encompasses all aspects of bioenergy expertise to identify pathways for delivering bioenergy with wider social, economic and environmental benefits. The Hub’s research also includes the development of innovative bioenergy technologies through the different technology readiness levels (TRLs) in order to deliver cost-effective, efficient and sustainable energy. In this way, UK academics support policy and industry in identifying and characterising sustainable bioenergy systems that can be prioritised to provide power, heat, liquid and gaseous fuels, and value-added chemicals.

The Hub is structured around four Topic Groups (TG) that allow consideration of a full bioenergy system in a wider energy, environmental, economic and social context: TG1 Resources; TG2 Pre-treatment and Conversion; TG3 Vectors; TG4 Systems. The overall aim of the Hub is to develop sustainable bioenergy systems that support the UK’s transition to a sustainable, affordable and resilient low-carbon energy future. We this by pursuing the following objectives:

  • Explore options for the production of sufficient feedstock to support the UK bioenergy system without negatively impacting food production and while maximising local environmental and global climate benefits. (Topic Group: Resources)
  • Identify and select preferred bioenergy pathways and develop new technologies and systems that support the hub’s vision for UK bioenergy. (Topic Groups: Pre-treatment and Conversion)
  • Identify and select appropriate energy vectors and determine how these fit within a wider biorefinery strategy to reduce carbon, reliance on fossil fuel and maximise national and regional resilience. (Topic Group: Vectors)
  • Identify and evaluate impacts of the UK’s bioenergy sector that maximise the benefits of bioenergy to the energy trilemma of affordability, resilience and carbon reduction. (Topic Group: Systems)
  • Evaluate the role and impact of selected bioenergy pathways at appropriate deployment scales on the energy system and interfacing sectors. (Via Case Studies from all Topic Groups)
Supergen Bioenergy Hub structure and impact pathways