Bioenergy

Strategic Context

Domestic biomass, sustainably grown in the UK, could provide up to 10% of the UK’s energy needs by 2050 and significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Programme Aim

  • Develop an understanding and assessment of the economic value chains and carbon impact of sustainably developing UK biomass resources and converting these to various energy vectors.
  • Assess the landscape and opportunity for meaningful technology acceleration and demonstration; and to set the ground work for a technology demonstration project for the UK in 2012.

The ETI has worked with a number of key stakeholders in the UK to commission three feasibility projects in the areas of biomass value chain and conversion; an engineering study on biomass to power with carbon capture and storage; and studying the impact of bioenergy crop land use changes on soil carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions.

Project summaries

Please click the following projects below for detail:

Gasification Plant Design Competition

Project summary lead image Gasification Plant Design Competition

ETI Investment

£2.8 million

Date announced

April 2013

Project Partners

  • Advanced Plasma Power
  • Broadcrown
  • Dahlman

Overview

We have selected three companies to design the most efficient, economically and commercially viable energy from waste gasification demonstrator plant. The design competition will last ten months with the winning design selected to move forward to a full scale demonstration phase if it is proven viable to do so.

The challenge for the shortlisted companies is that the plant designs will need to operate at a net electrical efficiency of at least 25%.

Advanced Plasma Power will design a demonstration facility with an electrical output of 6MWe to produce a clean syngas as a fuel for high efficiency power generation. Broadcrown Ltd will design a high efficiency facility with an electrical output of 2MWe promoting distributed waste management and power generation. Royal Dahlman will develop a plant with an electrical output of 7MWe that converts waste into a clean gas suitable for an efficient combined cycle power plant.

The chosen design to take forward will be selected in early 2014.

Ecosystem Land-Use Modelling (ELUM)

Project summary lead image Ecosystem Land-Use  Modelling (ELUM)

ETI Investment

£3.28m

Date announced

March 2011

Completion date

Summer 2014

Project Partners

  • CEH - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • Aberystwyth University
  • Forest Research
  • University of Aberdeen
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University of Southampton
  • The University of York

Overview

This trial is studying the impact of bioenergy crop land-use changes on soil carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions. It will develop a model to quantitatively assess changes in levels of carbon, nitrogen and water in soil, combined with the greenhouse gas flux which results from the conversion of land to bioenergy crop production. Categorisation and mapping of this data using Geographic Information Systems will allow recommendations on the most environmentally efficient agricultural and crop management techniques for bioenergy crop scenarios to be developed.

Biomass to Power with Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) Flexible Research

Project summary lead image Biomass to Power with Carbon Capture 
Storage (CCS) Flexible Research

ETI Investment

£0.45m

Date announced

May 2011

Completion date

Winter 2012

Project Partners

  • CMCL Innovations
  • University of Cambridge
  • Doosan
  • Drax
  • EDF Energy
  • E4 Tech
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Leeds

Overview

This project is looking to drive a high-level engineering study on biomass to power with CCS as a combined technology, assess the technology gaps, and the likely time-scales for implementation. Biomass conversion to power combined with CCS could provide the UK with substantial net negative CO2 emissions, with the potential to remove 50 to 100 Megatonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere on an annual basis (depending on capture rates).

Biomass Systems Value Chain Modelling Flexible Research

Project summary lead image Biomass Systems Value Chain  Modelling Flexible Research

ETI Investment

£0.8m

Date announced

May 2011

Completion date

Winter 2012

Project Partners

  • Agra CEAS
  • EDF Energy
  • EIFER
  • E4tech
  • Forest Research
  • Imperial College London
  • Rothamsted Research
  • University of Southampton

Overview

This project is developing a model linking bioenergy crop growth with technology options for logistics, pre-processing and final use as heat, power or transport fuel. It is developing a value chain optimisation framework and is looking at the economic and carbon impact of sustainably developing UK biomass resources whilst converting these to various energy vectors. It is also considering the relevant agronomic, technoeconomic and geographic factors associated with the cultivation, collection, processing, transmission and distribution of biomass.

Energy from Waste

Project summary lead image Energy from Waste

ETI Investment

£1.4m

Date announced

September 2009

Completion date

Summer 2011

Project Partners

  • Caterpillar
  • EDF Energy
  • Cranfield University
  • CPI
  • Shanks Waste Solutions

Overview

Generating more energy from waste will reduce the amount of material sent to landfill sites, provide the opportunity to generate electricity and heat at a local level, and contribute to the reduction of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy from Waste represents an opportunity to produce clean, renewable energy from local sources that were previously destined for landfill sites. This project profiled the waste streams in the UK, the potential energy available from them and how this may change in the future. In addition the project evaluated different conversion technologies to extract the energy from key waste streams. The project has identified a significant technology development opportunity in the area of gasification and gas clean up, to this end this ETI is now funding a demonstration project in this area.

ESME

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