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Birmingham -- As fuel prices continue to increase, researchers from the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University in Birmingham have developed an innovative bioenergy solution that uses waste products to generate cost-effective heat and power and that could reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. The market opportunities of the new Pyroformer also offer business benefits to the West Midlands region. It is anticipated that 35 jobs will be directly safeguarded or created and over 1,000 indirect jobs created in the West Midlands by 2022 as a result.

Pyroformer HIPO 1605
Foto: EBRI
The Pyroformer - developed by Professor Andreas Hornung of EBRI - overcomes many of the problems other renewable energy solutions have generated. Tests have shown that unlike other bioenergy plants, the Pyroformer has no negative environmental or food security impacts. It can use multiple waste sources and therefore does not require the destruction of rainforests or the use of agricultural land for the growth of specialist bioenergy crops. In fact biochar - one of its by-products - can even be used as a fertiliser to increase crop yields.

Processing up to 100 kg/h

As well as generating heat and power, the Pyroformer also dramatically reduces the amount of material sent to landfill.

The Pyroformer is capable of processing up to 100 kg/h of biomass feed and when coupled with a gasifier it will have an output of 400 kWeI – this is the equivalent to providing power for 800 homes. It is currently being tested at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire before moving to its permanent home at EBRI’s new £16.5m ERDF funded laboratories later this year. This facility will showcase the Pyroformer to industry and demonstrate how real-life solutions for tackling biomass based residues and waste can be achieved, with both environmental and financial benefits for households, businesses and local authorities.

A key stimulator of growth and jobs

Professor Andreas Hornung, Head of the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University, balances: “This Pyroformer is the first of its kind in the UK and the first industrial scale plant is now up and running at Harper Adams University College before it is permanently installed on the Aston campus later this year. We are delighted with the tests taking place at Harper Adams which are demonstrating that this really is a low carbon, renewable and sustainable energy source."

And he added: “However, this is about more than just energy provision. We believe this bioenergy technology could be a key stimulator of growth and jobs in the region and the reaction of the business community so far has been very enthusiastic. If you are looking for a clean energy source that ensures energy security without damaging people or planet, we already have the solution.”

More information can be found under aston.ac.uk or bioenergy@aston.ac.uk.

Quelle: European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

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Artikel vom: 15.05.2012 06:58
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