Researchers making bioenergy with waste industrial gases

The University of Nottingham has bagged nearly £1.5 million to lead a UK-wide network developing bioenergy from waste gases. Researchers will look at using bacteria to convert the simple gases […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

The University of Nottingham has bagged nearly £1.5 million to lead a UK-wide network developing bioenergy from waste gases.

Researchers will look at using bacteria to convert the simple gases that are all around us into more complex useful chemicals and fuels.

The aim is to find a source of bioenergy that isn’t too expensive or relies on using plants as feedstock.

Professor Nigel Minton at Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences who will lead the research with Professor David Fell from Oxford Brookes University said: “We will not use sugars as the microbial feedstock, but simple gases such as carbon monoxide (C0) and carbon dioxide (C02).”

These could be waste gases from industry such as steel manufacturing, oil refining (pictured), coal and natural gas, as well as man-made gas like carbon monoxide and hydrogen produced from sustainable resources, such household or farming waste.

Professor Minton added: “This enables low carbon fuels and chemicals to be produced in any industrialised geography without consumption of valuable food or land resources.”

The funding is part of an £18m grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to bring academics and industry together.