Go on, give us your waste!

It sounds like an odd request – but researchers in Birmingham want businesses and manufacturers to send them their waste. Whether it’s food and agricultural waste, sewage sludge, manure, wood […]

By Vicky Ellis

It sounds like an odd request – but researchers in Birmingham want businesses and manufacturers to send them their waste.

Whether it’s food and agricultural waste, sewage sludge, manure, wood materials or tall oil from pulp industry, the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University wants it.

The researchers are testing new bioenergy technology and need West Midlands businesses to help them – and the end results could one day be lucrative. The bioenergy market is forecast to generate more than £12 billion of new business in the next decade.

The new technology demonstrator called a Pyroformer which generates heat and power from its use of multiple waste sources is being built at Aston University and should be operating in autumn 2013.

Tim Miller, Director of Operations at EBRI said: “You don’t have to chop down trees or grow energy crops to generate energy and meet renewable energy targets.”

He said cities could eventually power themselves from their own waste: “The city of Birmingham, for instance, has the potential to power itself using the waste it produces. It is crucial that EBRI is able to source waste products to run and develop our technology without having to transport it long distances and we are keen to source these waste streams from within the West Midlands.”