Institution of Biorefinery Engineers, Scientists and Technologists

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A successful UK-India collaboration towards sustainable development

Posted by The IBEST on 1 November, 2017 at 18:30 Comments comments (0)

UK-India workshop on Energy for Economic Development and Welfare was held from 23-27 October 2017 at The Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun. The workshop was funded by the British Council and the Royal Society of Chemistry through the Newton-Bhabha Fund, which is aimed at promoting collaboration between the UK and India in scientific research and innovation sectors. The workshop brought together 40 selected early career researchers from top UK and Indian research institutes and industries to share their expertise and explore joint solutions to the challenges of economic development and social welfare in India. The prestigious workshop was jointly organised by the UK-coordinator: Dr Jhuma Sadhukhan, a founding member of The IBEST and reader at the Centre for Sustainability and Environment, University of Surrey, and Dr Thallada Bhaskar of the IIP.

In his welcome address, Dr Anjan Ray, the director of the IIP, underlined critical questions that must be addressed in order to find workable solutions. The questions were as follows: who will benefit and how; who will pay for it; can we get enough of it; is it technically feasible and scalable; is it genuinely novel; and lastly, will it create sustainable economies, societies and ecosystems. These questions thus set the tone for the workshop in terms of the presentations and the ensuing innovative project proposals.

Dr Sadhukhan, in her keynote address, stated that sustainable and renewable energy supply and security is at the heart of the multi-dimensional problems affecting economic development and welfare of poor and vulnerable populations in India. She also emphasised the role of engineers, scientists and technologists, particularly biorefiners, in ensuring that research carried out in the laboratory translate into societal and economic benefits that would influence policymakers to formulate policies towards sustainable development.

A lot of insightful presentations were given at the workshop by delegates from Aston University, The University of Manchester, Cardiff University, Cranfield University, University of Aberdeen, University of Birmingham, Imperial College, Coventry University and Liverpool John Moores University, Green Biologics Ltd., Anaero Technology Ltd., and Phycofeeds Limited in the UK, and CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development, Institutes of Technology, and The Energy and Resources Institute in India.

Roundtable discussions on prospective proposals were held on the last day of the workshop. The discussions focused on the major challenges affecting the implementation of sustainable energy for economic development and social welfare in India. One major challenge that featured in the various sub-discussions was how agricultural, municipal, human wastes could be utilised efficiently to generate low-cost energy, fuels and chemicals to meet different sustainable development goals, including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, good health and well-being, and climate action.

The event was indeed successful in promoting the benefits of scientific collaboration between the two countries, having attracted extensive media coverage in India. The workshop goes to show that active collaboration between researchers, academics and industrial practitioners from both countries is indispensable to solving the multi-dimensional challenges facing sustainable development in India.

The Biorefiner 2017 Out Now!!!

Posted by The IBEST on 10 October, 2017 at 22:50 Comments comments (0)

We are glad to inform that the 2nd issue of The Biorefiner is out now for the year 2017. A new portal has also been designed to introduce and list all the issues in one place, just visit http://www.theibest.org/the-biorefiner. Thank you to all members that have contributed to this new issue and I hope you are able to view it, read it and share it with your colleagues and extended network. Enjoy!!!

UK-India Workshop on Energy for Economic Development and Welfare

Posted by The IBEST on 5 May, 2017 at 8:30 Comments comments (0)

Workshop Title: Energy for Economic Development and Welfare: Promoting International Collaboration, Innovation and Sustainability

UK Coordinator: Dr Jhuma Sadhukhan

India Coordinator: Dr Thallada Bhaskar

Discipline: Engineering & Science (Energy focus)

Dates & Venue: 23-27 October, 2017, Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun, India

The programme, ‘Researcher Links’ funded by British Council and Royal Society of Chemistry provides opportunities for early career researchers from the UK and internationally to interact, learn from each other and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations.

As part of this programme, we are now recruiting early career researchers to participate in the above workshop.

The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for sharing research expertise and networking. During the workshops early career researchers will have the opportunity to present their research in the form of a poster/short oral presentation and discuss this with established researchers from the UK and partner countries. There will be a focus on building up links for future collaborations and participants selected on the basis of their research potential and ability to build longer term links.

Application and Deadline:

The full application must be completed and submitted by 15/06/2017 to: ukindiaresearcherlinks@gmail.com

Eligibility Criteria:

- Applications must be submitted using the Researcher Links application form

- Application must be submitted before the above deadline

- Participants must be Early Career Researchers: Early Career Researchers are defined as holding a PhD (or having equivalent research experience – workshop organisers define the prerequisites according to field of research/discipline) and having up to 10 years post-PhD research experience. They are equivalent to the ‘Recognised Researcher’ and sometimes ‘Experienced Researcher’ categories in the EU framework for researchers’ careers. http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/pdf/research_policies/Towards_a_European_Framework_for_Research_Careers_final.pdf

- Participants must have a research or academic position (a permanent post, research contract, or fellowship etc.) at a recognised research institution either in the UK or in India

- Please note that participants are expected to attend all sessions of the workshop.

Quality Assessment

- Experience and relevance of the applicant’s research area to the workshop

- Motivation and contribution to the aims of the workshop

- Description of the long term impact expected through the participation in the workshop

- Ability to disseminate workshop’s outcomes

Selection Procedure:

- Eligibility check

- Quality assessment

Notification of results:

Applicants will be notified by email 2 months prior to the workshop.

Equal Opportunities

Equal opportunities and diversity are at the heart of the funders’ cultural relations ambitions. While recognising that some research fields are dominated by one particular gender, co-ordinators are encouraged to work towards an equal gender balance, promote diversity. They must not exclude applicants on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation, or disability. Participants’ selection undertaken by workshop organisers must not contravene this policy. Extra support to enable participation of Early Career Researchers with special needs will be given.

The British Council and Royal Society of Chemistry will cover the costs related to the participation to the workshop, including: travel (both international and local), accommodation and meals. Costs for the visa will be covered; however participants will be responsible for making all the necessary arrangements. Although this cost will not be covered by the British Council and Royal Society of Chemistry, participants are encouraged to purchase an adequate travel and medical insurance. The funders and the organisers accept no responsibility for any problems which may occur when the participants are in-country.

IBEST International Bioenergy and Biorefinery Forum on 13 March

Posted by The IBEST on 9 February, 2017 at 14:35 Comments comments (0)

IBEST International Bioenergy and Biorefinery Forum on 13 March

You are warmly invited to attend the University of Surrey and IBEST International Bioenergy and Biorefinery Forum on 13 March, chaired by Professor Sai Gu, Head of Chemical and Process Engineering. We are holding an industrial exhibition free of charge on the day. In addition, there are a limited number of travel and subsistence grants available for eminent speakers. This is a unique opportunity to exhibit your organisation’s portfolio not only to UK customers, but also to the international market.

Since its creation two years ago supported by the Newton funding scheme and UK Research Councils, the Institution of Biorefinery Engineers, Scientists and Technologists (IBEST), has grown internationally to include over 50+ organisations as members. Many of these are looking to seriously invest in bioenergy and biorefinery businesses. Oil palm supply chain is a good example. Our organisation bases include South-East Asia, South America and African countries.

UK Research Councils are actively supporting research and development for poverty alleviation in developing countries. Bioenergy and alternative systems such as biorefineries have an important role to play in poverty alleviation, job creations and security of resources in these countries. Our DAC partner organisations are also very keen to take UK’s cutting edge technology advantages. Hence, here’s an opportunity to exhibit what skills and technologies your organisation can offer in the area. We strongly encourage you to join this free event and participate in the outreach activities to go truly global.

As mentioned, there are a limited number of travel & subsistent supports available for eminent speakers. If you would like to speak at the event, please let’s know by the end of next week, with your brief CV, organisation profile and a summary of your speech. Please also consider bringing in desk top demonstration equipment for better engagement with your potential customers.

The University of Surrey and IBEST communities are looking forward to welcoming you at their International Bioenergy and Biorefinery Forum on 13 March.

The IBEST

Newton Al-Farabi funded Workshop: Low-Carbon Energy Future: Efficient Management of Resources and Energy, Astana, Kazakhstan By Ida Fahani Md Jaye

Posted by The IBEST on 11 October, 2016 at 0:45 Comments comments (0)


On September 26-29 2016, the National Laboratory Astana hosted a 3-days workshop entitled Low-Carbon Energy Future: Efficient Management of Resources at Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan. The workshop was funded under the Newton – Al-Farabi Partnership Programme. The workshop brought together early career researchers from the UK and Kazakhstan to share their knowledge and experience, exchange ideas and generate future collaborations to promote sustainable energy system research and development in Kazakhstan. The workshop also aims to reduce the gap between scientific findings and industrial implementation and recognise how science and business can collaborate collectively in the field of energy.

The 40 selected participants consist of early career academics from Cranfield University, University of Surrey, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, National Laboratory Astana and International Information Technology University of Kazakhstan to mention a few amongst many and also industrial experts from several well-known companies in Kazakhstan.

The workshop began with an official opening note from Dr Kanatt Baigarin, the Vice President of Nazarbayev University, followed by a series of keynote lectures, and oral and poster presentations. In the opening note, Dr Baigarin welcomed all the early career researchers and scientists present at the workshop. He on behalf of Nazarbayev University was very honoured to be chosen to host such a high profile workshop which was considered as a stepping stone and starting point to a low carbon energy future in Kazakhstan. He added that the government were committed to reduce the national carbon emission by integrating renewable energy resources in the energy mix. More focus was given to decarbonise the electricity and heating supply systems due to their highest emission reduction potential. Renewable energy resources currently contribute to only 0.02% of Kazakhstan’s energy mix and include solar and hydro due to the country’s geographic location and natural landscape. He optimistically expects that in the near future the government will consider a wider range of technologies like biogas extraction from anaerobic digestion and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The first keynote lecture presented by Miss Aiymgul Kerimray, a researcher from the National Laboratory Astana attracted the participants’ interest by a full time series statistics of national energy profile and the main barriers that hinder the penetration of low carbon energy technology in the country. She pointed out lack of institutional support and technological expertise amongst the constraints that need to be addressed immediately. She argued that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15% below 1990 levels by 2030 set by the government is rather ambitious and needs urgent action to implement specific pathways.

 

Dr Beatriz Fidalgo from Cranfield University in her keynote lecture has opened a new chapter of Kazakhstan’s transition towards low carbon energy pathway by highlighting the potential spectrum of biorefinery to produce marketable products and energy. She emphasized more on how this sector can increase the contribution of renewable energy in the energy mix and help to tackle interconnected grand societal challenges like ensuring security of healthy food, reducing dependency on fossil fuels, mitigating climate change and creating jobs opportunities.


Dr Kok Siew Ng, a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, who won the Best Presenter Award amongst all, in his presentation elaborated on how a systematic design and integration strategy could be adopted to create more resilient and sustainable energy system. Nevertheless, this could be a very challenging long process and require intensive data inventory. He also introduced the polygeneration concept which means simultaneous generation of four or more energy products in a single integrated process. He also stressed on the importance of inclusion of 3E assessment (energy, economy and environment) for evaluating the feasibility of a prospective system.


 

Using the concept of systematic design and integration in cogeneration of electricity and heat from agricultural waste, Ida Fahani, another researcher from the University of Surrey, during her poster presentation, showed technical viability of the proposed system with deliberation of financial and non-financial benefits. She received encouraging feedbacks and responses from the audiences who considered simple technology with strong techno-economic justification would have higher implementation chances into the current business canvas.

 

On the second day of the workshop, the participants got the opportunity to interact and discuss more intensively during group project development activities. They came up with business proposals on five selected topics, biomass, micro grid, oil and petroleum, process optimisation and low carbon building. These topics were chosen based on the participants’ expertise, background, technology trends and local relevance. This allowed the proliferation of more ideas and promotion of future collaboration opportunities. Out of five business proposals presented, retrofitting of conventional municipal solid waste management system by integrating biogas generation option for district heating and electricity generation applications received a positive response from the government representative personnel.

This workshop, broadcast on the national TV channel, has been considered to be an effective platform to appreciate a huge potential of renewable and low carbon energy in Kazakhstan. Such partnerships can bring a considerable shift in their energy research portfolio, which is primarily focused on fossil fuels. The impact of the fossil fuel utilisation is not only significant with respect to global warming potential, but also severe health problems like bronchitis caused by the use of low quality coal in rural areas. The workshop unlocks many research opportunities abound to be explored in the journey of decarbonising the energy system in Kazakhstan and worldwide.

Dr Kok Siew Ng wins the Best Presentation Award at the Newton Al-Farabi funded Workshop: Low-Carbon Energy Future: Efficient Management of Resources and Energy, Astana, Kazakhstan

Posted by The IBEST on 11 October, 2016 at 0:30 Comments comments (0)

On September 26-29 2016, the National Laboratory Astana hosted a 3-days workshop entitled Low-Carbon Energy Future: Efficient Management of Resources at Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan. The workshop was funded under the British Councils Newton – Al-Farabi Partnership Programme that brought together early career researchers from the UK and Kazakhstan to share their knowledge and experience, exchange ideas and create collaborations to promote sustainable energy system development in Kazakhstan. With the strong motivation of enhancing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Kazakhstan, 40 early career researchers from both the UK and Kazakhstan gathered at Nazarbayev University, Astana to discuss possible solutions to address these challenges faced by the country and globally. The programme consists of inspiring keynote lectures by a number of leading researchers as well as a series of oral presentations and poster exhibition from early career researchers. The presentations covered a wide range of topics: power plant, microgrids, energy system modelling, sustainable industrial systems design, process systems engineering, process intensification, sustainable housing design, biofuels and biorefining.

Dr Kok Siew Ng, a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, won the Best Presenter Award amongst all presenters. In his presentation, he discussed how a systematic design and integration strategy could be adopted to create a more resilient and sustainable energy system. He also introduced the polygeneration concept which means simultaneous generation of four or more energy products in a single integrated process. He also stressed on the importance of inclusion of 3E assessment (energy, economy and environment) for measuring the feasibility of a prospective system. The workshop, later on broadcast on the national TV channel, has been considered to be an effective platform to evauate and appreciate a huge potential of renewable and low carbon energy in Kazakhstan. They are hopeful that the platform created can bring a considerable shift in energy research and development capability, which has primarily been in fossil fuels.



First Issue of The Biorefiner Magazine Published

Posted by The IBEST on 1 September, 2016 at 17:00 Comments comments (1)

The IBEST is proud to present the first issue of The Biorefiner Magazine (ISSN 2398-0575), published on the 1st September 2016. The annual magazine aims to showcase biorefinery research from individual and research groups from all around the world. The IBEST wish to thank all the contributors in providing valuable information about their research activities for the magazine. 

IChemE Free Webinar on LCA of Bioenergy Systems by Professor Richard Murphy - 13 September 2016 at 09:00 BST

Posted by The IBEST on 1 September, 2016 at 16:55 Comments comments (0)

IChemE Sustainability Special Interest Group's webinar will take place on 13 September at 09:00 BST. Professor Richard Murphy from the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey, UK, will talk on 'Life Cycle Assessment of Bioenergy Systems'.

 

The webinar is aimed at engineers, students and decision-makers who are curious about the potential of bioenergy and in understanding how we can gain insight and evidence on the 'sustainability' possibilities of the many diverse bioenergy systems that are 'out there'. It will also be useful for those seeking a general introduction to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach and how it is implemented in practice.

 

For more details visit:

www.icheme.org/sustainability-murphy

 

The webinar is free of charge and open to all.

Launching of Policy Mapping Project by a Team of RRfW Research Fellows

Posted by The IBEST on 5 August, 2016 at 6:40 Comments comments (0)

A group of dedicated researchers has recently been awarded a grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to conduct a mini project within Resource Recovery from Waste (RRfW) programme. The team of research fellows consists of Dr. Helen Baxter from University of Hull (NERC R³AW project); Dr. Eleni IacovidouDr. Jonathan Busch and Dr. John Hahladakis from University of Leeds (NERC C-VORR project); Dr. Kok Siew Ng from University of Surrey (NERC METEORR project); and Dr. Ben Herbert who is the Director of Research and Environment at Stopford Energy & Environment.


The team has come up with a catchy name for the project – MAPeRR (Multi-parametric Assessment of Policies for Resource Recovery from Waste). This project aims to develop an evidence based map to identify gaps and interventions between existing policies and waste practices and to ensure sustainability and resilience of resource recovery management practices. The kickoff meeting for this project on the 27th July 2016 was very fruitful as everyone was on the same page and has generated numerous excellent ideas to proceed with the project.


The photo was taken at Rustica Italian Restaurant in Leeds, recommended by Eleni. Left (front to end): John, Helen and Eleni; Right (front to end): Ben, Jonathan, Anne and Kok Siew.

 

UK Malaysia workshop video

Posted by The IBEST on 31 July, 2016 at 17:50 Comments comments (0)

UK Malaysia workshop highlights available now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcH-KU6VaB4



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