Supergen Bioenergy Hub awards funding to assess potential of processing pathways for UK biomass

We’re delighted to announce the recipient of our flexible funding award to investigate the potential for co-production of bioenergy and bioproducts from UK resources to deliver sustainable environmental benefits.

Funding of £100,000 has been awarded to Professor Edward Lester from the University of Nottingham to lead a project looking at optimising integrated bioenergy and high-value product processing pathways for UK biomass resources.

The work packages will be led by three early career researchers – Dr Orla Williams from the University of Nottingham, Dr Abby Samson from the University of Lincoln and Dr Emily Kostas from University College London – with respective expertise in biomass processing, biofuel production and bioproducts production, under the guidance of the Principal Investigator.

The research will establish the potential for different UK biomass resources – seaweed, woody biomass and agricultural residues – to produce bioenergy and high-value products from integrated processing systems, and in turn provide sustainable and economic benefits for the UK economy.

Researchers will examine the relative performance of different integrated processing pathways and establish the optimal processing routes for the different feedstocks, as well as assessing the environmental and techno-economic case for an integrated bioenergy and high-value product process chain.

The work will deliver a comprehensive characterisation of the feedstocks, including resource potential and costs as well as physical and chemical composition, which will help to improve the understanding of industrial priorities and commercial opportunities for the UK biotechnology economy.

Commenting on the award, Principal Investigator, Edward Lester said: “It’s a great opportunity to collaborate with other academics who are at the beginning of their careers. This project will bring together new ideas and expertise to think differently about the problem of sustainable energy from biomass in the UK.”

Supergen Bioenergy Hub Director, Patricia Thornley added: “We have been very impressed by the scope and ambition of this project, and we look forward to seeing its impact on the biotechnology and bioenergy industries.”

Funding was awarded following an anonymised review process, with the aim of ensuring impartiality while encouraging diversity in applications.

Alongside its fundamental research and engagement activity, the Supergen Bioenergy Hub provides flexible funding to address research challenges and rapid response funding to rapidly enhance existing knowledge to facilitate industrial, policy or international impact. Keep up to date with opportunities via the funding page.