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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P024823/1
Title: SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub Extension
Principal Investigator: Thornley, Professor EP
Other Investigators:
Jones, Professor JM Roeder, Dr M Bridgwater, Professor AV
Williams, Professor A McManus, Professor MC Shield, Dr I
Pourkashanian, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Coppice Resources Ltd Terravesta
Department: Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Eng
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 August 2017 Ends: 30 September 2018 Value (£): 756,074
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioenergy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
25 Oct 2016 Supergen Extension 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Every year the UK produces millions of tonnes of waste which is landfilled. There are over over [ ]Mt waste wood alone produced in the UK each year. In addition there are large areas of land (e.g. disused landfill sites, coal-mines and water treatment facilities where energy crops could be grown to add remediation and improve land quality. It is well known that fast growing species such as willlow are efficient at sequestering heavy metals and other contaminants from the ground. When the crops are harvested the contamination is effectively transformed from a dispersed contamination on land to a much more concentrated form in the crop. Energy can then be extracted from the crop and the residues from the conversion process are easier to manage than the original dispersed contamination. However, care must be taken to ensure that the contaminated components are sequestered rather than being released to air, water or land in a way that could have negative environmental impacts.

This work will study existing and new plantations of energy crops to evaluate their utility in remediating land and the net environmental impact of this approach. We will also monitor the behavrour of the envrionmental contaminants in a range of different conversion processes to establish the pathway they take under different conditions. This is important for evaluating the environmental impact of the system but it also provides useful information for engineers charged with designing the conversoin plant, so that they know how to adjust process conditions, materials and predict any changes in performance associated with the waste fuel.

The focus of this work is energy crops grown on contaminated land. However, its application is much wider than that. The UK has a limited amount of land that can be used to provide renewable bioenergy. However, a vast quantity of wastes are produced that could sustainably deliver energy. In order to do this sustaianbly and effiiciently it is impmortant that engineers have access to data on how the contaminants in waste behave during conversion and this proejct will provide that, allowing more efficient design, lower environmental impact and supporting industrial deployment of these facilities.
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk