Technology Strategy Board

Press Release

A consortium researching unique manufacturing processes of second generation biofuels received a major boost when it was awarded a grant from the Technology Strategy Board. The consortium, lead by Longma Clean Energy, and comprising Liverpool John Moores University, XpertRule Software, Feldec and Catering Waste Solutions, were one of 14 low carbon projects to win a grant against stiff competition.

The aim of the project is to establish an on site pilot processing plant that reforms harmful free fatty acids present in raw bio-oils into fuel using a novel catalyst free technique. The technology would have wide application both with directly related bio-refining reactions, and within the wider chemical processing market.

The project builds on a strong technical base in the area at Liverpool John Moores’ General Engineering Research Institute. Lead researcher, Prof Ahmed Al-Shamma’a said “This is an excellent opportunity for the academic committee to apply for the first time a highly innovative microwave plasma system in bio refining reactions. The success of such technology will make the UK SMEs worldwide leaders”.

Project leader Dr Marc Thomas commented, “We are particularly excited about this project because the process will have an immediate market within the existing biofuels arena, but more significantly is a key enabling technology for the next generation of biofuels. We are also delighted to be working with such a strong team that brings together a breadth of technical expertise”.

Biofuels for road transport and Combined Heat and Power applications are an important component in the mitigation of climate change. Because the available feedstock is limited it is crucial to optimise its use as well as protect against unsustainable practices. To achieve these goals the processing of feedstock should be energy and materials efficient, and waste materials should be used wherever possible. The research program will address these concerns by developing a targeted and highly cost effective process that turns harmful components in feedstocks into fuel, while avoiding unnecessary processing. Energy and chemical inputs are minimised. Even highly degraded, previously unusable, waste feedstocks will be capable of treatment.

 

For further information please contact: Dr Jenny Wang, Longma Clean Energy, jennyw@longma.co.uk

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