Supergen Bioenergy Hub – Researchers’ Day Meeting 2021

At the Supergen Bioenergy Hub we are bringing together the latest scientific and engineering research around our six bioenergy system case studies, in order to evaluate their sustainability and potential contribution to the UK’s bioenergy future, during our virtual Researchers’ Day Meeting on 7 May.

Our call for abstracts was enthusiastically responded to by researchers from within and beyond our Hub community and we have an exciting line-up of presentations being delivered on the day. The day will be split into six individual sessions, each focused on one of the case studies, where academics will present relevant research and there will be ample opportunity for discussion. The schedule is flexible, enabling attendees to pick and choose which case studies they feel are most relevant to their work and which they would like to attend.

The full agenda for the meeting can be found below, and registration is still open via Eventbrite, until 5 May at 22:00 BST.


09:00-09:10 Opening Session: Introduction and Case Studies

Patricia Thornley and Mirjam Roeder will introduce the agenda for the day and explain the six bioenergy system case studies the day is framed around.

09:10-10:00 Case Study 1: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Session

Case Study Description: Energy crops and/or agricultural residues are used as feedstocks to produce hydrogen through a gasification conversion pathway. During the gasification and syngas upgrading processes, the CO2 (and other gas components) are separated and captured, leaving hydrogen to be used with a fuel cell to generate energy.

The session will be led by Marcelle McManus and Rebecca Rowe, with contributions from:

Davide Poggio (University of Sheffield) presenting ‘Renewable gas production through in-situ biogas upgrading: Evaluation of novel process control and fuel combustion characteristics’

Chai Lee (University of Nottingham) presenting ‘Supercritical water gasification with lignocellulosic biomass waste as the feedstocks – Economic analysis of noncatalytic SCWG at 600 °C versus catalytic SCWG at 400 °C’

Jingyu Feng (Imperial College London) presenting ‘Biomass-derived freestanding carbon electrodes for the oxygen reduction reaction’

Amir Amiri (Aston University) presenting ‘Biomass gasification and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) integration’

10:00-10:50 Case Study 2: Biorefinery Session

Case Study Description: Energy crops such as short rotation coppice (e.g. willow) are processed through the application of ionic liquids as a pre-treatment followed by fermentation and catalysis processes to produce advanced liquid biofuels and value-added chemicals. Alternatively, forest residues could be used as feedstock.

The session will be led by Jason Hallett and Katie Chong, with contributions from:

Elaine Jensen (Aberystwyth University) presenting ‘Challenges and potential of Miscanthus on marginal and heavy metal contaminated land’

Jon McKechnie (University of Nottingham) presenting ‘Working towards sustainable production of methyl methacrylate via continuous fermentation of glucose to citramalate: An economic and environmental assessment’

Muhammad Khan (Aston University) presenting ‘Catalytic biomass pre-treatment and catalytic upgrading of biorefinery streams via combination of ionic liquids with commercial and novel solid catalysts’

Zhuoying Wu (Imperial College London) presenting ‘ORP-controlled intermittent micro aeration: New strategy to improve digestibility and stability of anaerobic digestion of high-strength lignocellulose’

Sarah Asplin (Aston University) presenting ‘Inedible plant oils as a fossil fuel substitute to obtain high-value platform chemicals’

10:50-11:10 Break

11:10-12:00 Case Study 3: Transport Fuels from Wastes 1 Session

Case Study Description: Municipal solid waste is processed for a gasification conversion process. The produced syngas is upgraded and used to produce (a) gaseous transport fuels or (b) converted to liquid bio-jet fuels through a Fischer-Tropsch process.

The session will be led by Mirjam Roeder and Andrew Welfle, with contributions from:

Shuming Zhang (Queen’s University Belfast) presenting ‘Auto-thermal CaO looping biomass gasification to increase syngas quality with lower temperature’

Siming You (University of Glasgow) presenting ‘Economics and carbon saving potential of waste-to-hydrogen systems’

Vontas Nahan (University of Leicester) presenting ‘Gasification of municipal solid waste’

12:00-12:50 Case Study 4: Transport Fuels from Wastes 2 Session

Case Study Description: Municipal solid waste is collected and processed and then through a fast pyrolysis process, pyrolysis oil is produced to be used to blend liquid transport fuels.

This session will be led by Tony Bridgwater and Sam Cooper, with contributions from:

Nidia Diaz Perez (University of Nottingham) presenting ‘A comparison of thermal processing techniques to produce valuable products from crop digestate’

Jiacheng Sun (University of Edinburgh) presenting ‘A study of algal biofuel and biochar production and applications’

Abubakar Haruna (University of Nottingham) presenting ‘Integration of Catalytic Pyrolysis oil in existing Refinery’s Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit for Sustainable Biofuel Production’

Fatih Gulec (University of Nottingham) presenting ‘Optimisation of char formation from different biomass feedstocks via hydrothermal conversion, pyrolysis, and torrefaction – Integration of energy and wastewater treatment technologies’

Scott Banks (Aston University) presenting ‘The impact of biomass grown on contaminated land and blending high and low ash content feedstocks on the properties of fast pyrolysis bio-oil’

12:50-13:30 Lunch Break

13:30-13:40 Overview – Bioenergy Sustainability Indicator Model

Andrew Welfle (University of Manchester) will explain how the Bioenergy Sustainability Indicator Model will be applied to the Case Studies.

13:40-14:30 Case Study 5: Heat from Food Wastes Session

Case Study Description: Food wastes are collected and processed through catalytic conversion to produce hydrogen that can be used to generate heat.

This session will be led by Helen Daly and Nathan Skillen, with contributions from:

Leon Lefferts (University of Twente) presenting ‘Aqueous phase reforming’

Xiaolei Fan (University of Manchester) presenting ‘Alternative catalytic conversion techniques’

Chari Suviti (University College London) presenting ‘Biohydrogen production from waste for transport: commercial process modelling and Life Cycle Assessment’

Hui Luo (Imperial College London) presenting ‘Progress and Perspectives in Photo- and Electrochemical- Oxidation of Biomass for Sustainable Chemicals and Hydrogen Production’

Haresh Manyar (Queen’s University Belfast) presenting ‘Novel integrated approach for direct production of transport fuels from waste by upgrading aqueous process streams’

14:40-15:30 Case Study 6: BECCS Session

Case Study Description: Energy crops are grown specifically for the bioenergy sector to generate electricity with linked carbon capture and storage technologies for greenhouse gas removal.

This session will be led by Iain Donnison and Rob Holland, with contributions from:

Muir Freer (University of Manchester) presenting ‘Carbon optimal bioenergy with carbon capture and storage supply chains for the UK’

Chunfei Wu (Queen’s University Belfast) presenting ‘The information of catalyst support of Ni-based dual functional materials on integrated CO2 capture and utilisation’

Alberto Almena (Aston University University) presenting ‘Opportunities and challenges for BECCS systems supporting net-zero emission targets’

15:30-15:50 Break

15:50-16:30 Closing Session: Wrap Up to RDM, Challenge Call Funding Details and Upcoming Engagement

Patricia Thornley (Hub Director), Emma Wylde (Hub Project Manager) and Dan Taylor (Hub Stakeholder Engagement Manager) will complete a wrap-up of the day’s activities, announce details of our final round of funding and highlight upcoming engagement opportunities respectively.