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 Project Management Group, which includes all research project leads.

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub began its latest UKRI-funded four-year term on 1 November 2023. The focus of this phase of work will be on delivering impact. Read more in our Research section.

The vision of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub is to enable and stimulate the development of a sustainable UK bioenergy sector.

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.

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. Our work programme covers the full chain of biomass and bioenergy, including research on biomass resources, pre-treatment and conversion technologies, energy vectors and bio-based products, and whole systems analysis.

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.

Our 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.

Our objectives

Our objectives are to:

  1. Incubate new research concepts to identify commercial potential;
  2. Diffuse knowledge from UK research to effectively support deployment;
  3. Use UK research knowledge and capability to create an appropriate enabling environment for sustainable bioenergy deployment.

Objective 1 will be supported by focusing initially on a range of novel potential technologies:

  • Digitalisation and AI for AD
  • Biowaste electrolysis
  • Negative emission hydrogen from biomass gasification
  • Waste gasification for hydrogen-BECCUS
  • rDME for off-grid energy
  • Bio-derived sustainable aviation fuels

Each of these projects focuses on novel technology development that could significantly impact UK energy system sustainability.

Objective 2 will be supported by our work on:

  • Global indirect land use change (ILUC)
  • Biomass fractionation
  • Bio-based and biodegradable chemicals
  • Scale-up of feedstock production
  • Biorefinery efficiency and scale-up
  • Bio-based and biodegradable chemicals
  • Maximising sustainability trade-offs

These projects aim to provide cross-cutting information to advance sustainability performance.

Objective 3 will be supported by our close engagement with key stakeholders, especially through the following mechanisms:

  • Industry forum
  • Policy forum
  • Professional forum
  • Public engagement forum and outreach work

This is underpinned by our wider ambition to connect academia, industry, policy and public stakeholders working or interested in biomass and bioenergy.

Read more about our projects in the Research section.

Who we are

The Hub is based at Aston University under the direction of Professor Patricia Thornley, and management is undertaken by the Project Management Group (PMG), comprising all project leads, along with representatives from the funders, a representative from the Supergen Bioenergy Hub Early Career Researcher Network (SHARE Network), the Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Policy Fellow and Project Manager.


Project Management Group

Management of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub is undertaken by the Project Management Group (PMG).

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Hub Team

Management of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub is supported by the Hub Team.

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Advisory Board

The Advisory Board brings together representatives from a variety of industry, policy and public stakeholder groups.

Our Partners

Members of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub have access to the researchers’ meetings, annual assemblies and SHARE Network for early career researchers, as well as being able to apply for our flexible funding calls.

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Hub funding

Flexible funding is open to members of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub.

Funding is available to SHARE members to support research-related travel and subsistence, either for research dissemination and presentation of results papers and posters at conferences.

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SHARE Network: Supergen Bioenergy Hub Early Careers Researcher Network

The SHARE Network has been set up to provide an informal but professional interdisciplinary network of peers who are engaged in bioenergy research.

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