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Supergen Bioenergy Hub news

Patricia Thornley addresses Climate Assembly UK on the role of bioenergy on the path to net zero

Patricia Thornley, Director of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, recently presented to the UK citizens’ assembly on climate change on the role of bioenergy in electricity production and sustainability issues. Climate Assembly UK was commissioned by six House of Commons Select Committees to explore public preferences on how the UK can reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The speaker presentations from the event are online now. 

Research paper: A review of the role of bioenergy modelling in renewable energy research and policy development

Andrew Welfle (University of Manchester), Patricia Thornley and Mirjam Röder (both from Aston University) have published the paper 'A review of the role of bioenergy modelling in renewable energy research and policy development' in the journal Biomass and Bioenergy.

The research, which was conducted as part of the Hub's Systems topic, led by Mirjam Röder, developed a bioenergy literature database of 124,285 papers published between 2000 and 2018. Over a third of the papers applied modelling analyses, using bespoke bioenergy and biomass resource models, or high-profile integrated assessment models (IAMs) and energy system models. 

Briefing paper: Greenhouse gas emissions – timing matters!

Greenhouse gases cause climate change. However, the actual climate change effects occur after the emissions that cause them, and the variation with time of these effects is important in understanding their potential impact. Our new briefing paper highlights a number of key findings, including that:

  • Using Global Warming Potential (GWP) to establish COequivalence doesn’t capture temporal variation
  • Delaying emissions affects their climate impacts
  • Different greenhouse gases have different impacts that vary relative to each other with time
  • Temperature effects and heating effects are not always the same.

A spreadsheet tool is available for life cycle assessment practitioners to quickly assess whether temporal aspects of greenhouse gas results are relevant and should be reported on.

Policy briefing on biomass availability

Bioenergy is an integral part of the UK’s plans to achieve its greenhouse gas reduction objectives. Addressing the question of biomass availability in the UK is key to scaling up deployment of bioenergy systems. At the end of January, the Supergen Bioenergy Hub held a policy briefing on biomass availability, bringing together those involved in policy formulation with leading UK academic experts working in this area. 

Supergen Bioenergy Hub events

Update on SHARE Early Career Researchers’ Forum and Hub Researchers’ Day

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, we will not be holding the Researchers’ Day and ECR Forum as planned. The Hub’s core project partners and funded projects will be meeting in mid-May to discuss progress and share updates. Materials will be made available to the wider Hub membership after the meeting. The ECR Forum will be convened alongside a physical meeting in the future, but online events are planned in the meantime – sign up to the SHARE mailing list to keep updated.

Supergen hubs ECR webinars

All early career researchers (ECR) involved in the Supergen Programme are invited to participate in a new cross-hub webinar series that will allow ECRs from all the Supergen hubs to connect and share their exciting projects. This will be a great chance to see what research is happening across the whole Supergen network and potentially find some new opportunities for cross-hub collaboration.

Funding and opportunities from Supergen Bioenergy Hub

Work for the Supergen Bioenergy Hub as Stakeholder Engagement Manager (maternity cover)

We're recruiting maternity cover for the role of Stakeholder Engagement Manager, responsible for managing the Hub's dissemination, outreach and engagement activity. Apply for this exciting opportunity by 16 May, and please share with your networks. The role will be based in the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University, Birmingham.

Reader in Catalysis for Energy and Bioproducts at Aston University

The Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University, where the Supergen Bioenergy Hub is based, is inviting applications for a Reader in Catalysis for Energy and Bioproducts. EBRI is internationally renowned for its work on biomass, energy and sustainable bioproducts. The successful candidate will provide leadership and direction within the catalysis portfolio to support wider institute objectives. They will have access to EBRI’s state-of-the-art laboratory facilities to enable an internationally leading research programme in catalysis for energy and bioproduct applications. Apply by 31 May.

Rapid response funding – interim deadline: 22 June

Our rapid response funding is intended to support the UK’s bioenergy research community in responding to industrial and policy challenges that arise during the lifetime of the Hub and in developing active international research collaborations. Applications can be submitted for projects up to £25,000 in value that will rapidly enhance existing knowledge to facilitate industrial, policy or international impact.
News and updates from our partners

Loughborough University to open new training centre to improve sustainable energy supplies

Loughborough University is establishing a mini centre of doctoral training to fund five PhD studentships focused on catalyst development for utilisation of biorefinery waste streams. Click on the links below for more information. 

Liquid-phase biorefinery catalyst
3D/2D catalysts for waste streams
Active single-atom catalysts
2D assembly of single atoms into support structures/nanomembranes
3D assembly of single atoms into multi-structured catalysts

UK's first comprehensive vehicle-to-grid control platform

The vehicle-to-grid (V2G) VIGIL project, based at the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University, aims to return energy to the power grid when electric vehicles are parked and plugged for charging. The project has been nominated for the Innovation in V2G Award at the 2020 Electric Vehicle Innovation & Excellence Awards. The winners will be announced at an event on 29 April.

Take a survey on sustainable biofuels

The ABC-Salt (Advanced Biomass Catalytic Conversion to Middle Distillates in Molten Salts) project is gathering information on perceptions of sustainable biofuels. Take the survey

Tools for interactive learning, teaching and communication

The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) provides a number of guidance documents on Zoom online meetings and other interactive tools on the FAQ page for their training offer.

Call for book chapters/reviews for books on algae

Algal researchers are invited to contribute reviews or chapters to these upcoming books:

  • Book 1 – Cyanobacterial Biotechnology
  • Book 2 – Microalgal Biotechnology
  • Book 3 – Algal Biotechnology: From Cultivation to Marketing
  • Book 4 – Macroalgal Biotechnology: Biodiversity and Biotechnology of Seaweeds
  • Book 5 – Algal Farming: Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals from Algae
  • Book 6 – Algal Metabolites: Biotechnological Applications
  • Book 7 – Genetics and Genomics of Algae
  • Book 8 – Algal Biofuels for Bioenergy Applications
  • Book 9 – Algal Cultivation for Climate Mitigation and Environmental Cleanup
  • Book 10 – Algal Nanotechnology

These book proposals have already been accepted for publication under the book series Innovations in Biotechnology by Apple Academic Press/CRC Press, USA. Register your interest here

Colouring page for HoSt bioenergy systems

HoSt delivers technological development of waste-to-energy systems for the processing of biomass and waste flows and the supply of systems for the sustainable generation of energy from biomass and waste. Download and print their colouring page for free, and enjoy colouring the bioenergy installations, characters and animals.

Latest newsletters from our partners

Newsletter from the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre

Biorefine Cluster News Bulletin March 2020

Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) News Update April 2020

Events from our partners

Energy Networks Conference 2020, from 29 April, online

The Supergen Energy Networks conference will now take the form of a series of webinars between 29 April and 4 June. 

Green Carbon Webinar Series 2020, various dates from 30 April, online

The series runs until 11 June with fortnightly online talks.​ This year's topics range from lab-based research projects about biochar production to international field trials and non-governmental community projects. Find out more and register.

Into the Next ERA: An Energy Research Accelerator webinar, 30 April, online 

This event will cover the work of the Energy Research Accelerator and the investments made in new facilities, a look ahead at their ambitions for the future and opportunities for partners to collaborate. Register here.

COVID-19: What does this mean for the fight against climate change?, 30 April, online

In this webinar, a global panel of sustainability professionals, health leaders and environmental policy experts will share insights on:

  • What are the direct impacts of COVID-19 on our climate?
  • How has COVID-19 impacted our ability to tackle climate change?
  • What can we learn from COVID-19 to help with climate change?
  • How can we ensure we rebuild ‘green’ after COVID-19?
  • What should be the next steps for governments after the COVID-19 crisis to maintain momentum for climate action in 2020?

Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge Webinar Workshops, various dates from 30 April, online

The UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) are hosting a series of workshops to support collaboration for the next Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging competitions this summer.

Biomass Trade Summit Europe 2020, 9-10 September, Amsterdam

The event will bring together senior executives and experts from the biomass trading industry, biomass producers, energy companies, policymakers, consultants, technology innovators and leading market analysts to discuss the latest challenges and developments within the industry. 

Future of Biofuels 2020, 22-23 September, Copenhagen

The conference aims to tackle the question of the green transition and support producers, investors and regulators in making complex decisions.

Funding and opportunities from our partners

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships 2020 call now open

The objective of the fellowship is career development through research in any discipline, and applicants must explain how this will be achieved. Apply by 9 September.

New Newton calls now open

Various Newton calls opened last week including mobility grants, institutional links and researcher links travel grants. Find out more.

UK representative for EERA Joint Programme on Digitalization for Energy

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) is looking for a UK representative for the new Digitalization for Energy Joint Programme (JP). The representative will be expected to attend JP management meetings, represent the views of UK researchers with similar interests, and communicate developments of the JP, including opportunities, to the community in the UK. If you are interested, please send a short CV and 500-word outline of why you are interested in becoming the UK rep and what you can offer in terms of representing the UK energy research community in the JP to Kajsa-Stina Longuere ( by 5pm on 6 May.

SME Leaders Programme  

This Royal Academy of Engineering programme provides leaders of high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a support package to improve their leadership and management skills so that they can scale, including mentoring, 1:1 coaching, and £10,000 towards leadership training courses of their choice. Deadline: 11 May

UK Climate Resilience Embedded Researcher scheme - Phase two: Embedded Researchers

The UK Climate Resilience Programme aims to draw together fragmented climate research and expertise to deliver robust, multi- and inter-disciplinary research into climate risks and adaptation solutions. In this second phase of the UK Climate Resilience Embedded Researcher scheme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is inviting proposals from UK-based academic researchers to apply for placements at non-academic host organisations. Apply to the host organisation by 11 May.

Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships 

Designed to strengthen the links between industry and academia, this fellowship supports exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of industrial partners. Deadline: 3 September

Copyright © 2020 Supergen Bioenergy Hub, All rights reserved.

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