The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) officially opened its new facilities in Birmingham on Monday, dedicated to the development of bioenergy technology and strengthening international strategic partnerships.
This state-of-the-art facility is powered by the UK’s only ‘Pyroformer’ bioenergy power plant. The Pyroformer solution has been devised by Prof Andreas Hornung, director of the EBRI.
The institute’s strategic aims and underlying vision are directed towards establishing itself as a world-leading research institute, producing high impact and exploitable bioenergy technological research, developing training opportunities and placements, and enhancing international engagement with the business and research fraternity.
Speaking at the launch event about the new facility, Hornung said, “This new building will significantly increase the capacity of our dedicated teams to produce world-class research and knowledge transfer in all aspects of bioenergy and technology development.”
EBRI is fast building relations with organisations and communities on an international scale. For example, it continues to work with the Indian Institute of Tecnology (IIT) Ropar in order to create renewable solutions to open field building in India.
Using the Pyroformer technology, the waste straw can be utlilised to power farming equipment, coupled with the by-product biochar, used as an agricultural fertiliser which can improve overall crop yields.
Although a study from the beginning of the year outlined the possible negative and harmful effects from investing in bioenergy and producing energy from crops, if done properly, the technology can play a crucial role in the low-carbon transition.
At the grand unveiling, groups were taken on a full tour of the facilities, including laboratories focused on bioenergy technology such as on pyrolysis – decomposition of organic matter at high temperatures.
Bioenergy technology is touted as an instrument that could transform the future of energy and reduce impacts on the environment, through rapid recycling of industrial waste and turning into an efficient and valuable power source.
Prof Dame Julia King, vice-chancellor of Aston University, commented on the vital nature and commitments of EBRI, saying, “EBRI is […] a critical component in enabling the UK to become more energy efficient, and to reduce our current reliance on fossil fuels, imports, and volatile energy markets.”