Using natural matter for energy production

a large blue water reservoir is sepearated from a green mountainside by a large road

Alternative fuels to fossil-based energy includes the use of biomass for bioenergy generation. This encompases a wide range of resources, from virgin biomass materials, such as clean forestry wood, through to raw or processed/treated bio-derived wastes, by-products and residues from a range of industries. The purpose of using such biomass sources is that their inherent biogenic carbon content means that the net CO2 emissions from their use is considerably lower than for fossil fuels. These fuels can also be used in current thermal power stations so we can keep using the existing infrastructure available to us, whilst also lowering our CO2 intensity of generation through fuel-switching from coal and gas.

At the Translational Energy Research Centre, we have expertise in the utilisation (both combustion and gasification) of a variety of bioenergy resources and have a wide range of equipment to investigate these in detail. All our facilities are highly instrumented and there are numerous analysers available to assess the flue gas composition. Residues, such as ash, can also be collected for further detailed analysis. Moreover, these rigs can be coupled with the onsite CO2 capture facilities to enable the investigation of net negative carbon emissions – something that will be vital in the future to ensure the complete decarbonisation (overall net zero), through offsetting more difficult to decarbonise sectors.

Specific areas of interest

  • Waste-to-energy technologies
  • Innovative and advanced gas turbine cycles, including switching to H2-/biogas-fired engines
  • Biomass gasification and combustion (including of the resultant syngas)
  • Biodiesel combustion, incorporating fuel assessments and fuel blending
  • Biorefineries