BEST starts work on innovative biogas project
14 September 2012
LJMU's Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Research Institute, School of the Built Environment, is the lead partner in a €1.2million project to convert animal waste into biogas.
The project, which has received funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme, aims to help European SMEs in the livestock industry operate more effectively by reducing costs and increasing profits, as well as enabling them to meet environmental standards using unique technologies developed at the research institute.
Between 2003 and 2010, the average income of farmers has dropped by 27%, with the livestock industry facing increasing pressure from supermarkets, environmental issues, increased legislation and competition for land from biofuel manufacturers growing crops.
LJMU has carried out vast amounts of research into converting waste into biofuel and, alongside Ashleigh Farms (Ireland), Sairem (France), Technosam (Romania) and HERI (UK), has been tasked with developing an environmentally-friendly means of disposing of pig and cow manure which will also increase income levels of farmers and enable them to meet new legislation regarding the disposal of waste.
Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a, Director of BEST, said: “This fund is a testament to our niche and unique research activities at an international level which builds on the research we have carrying out at the Institute. Energy from waste is going to be vital in the future and using waste to produce biofuels meets several aims simultaneously. Not only is the waste removed in a way that meets environmental standards but it also creates a cost effective fuel which is better for the environment than fuels we currently rely on. With this project there is an additional benefit – we are aiming to provide economic support to a crucial industry to ensure its survival.”
Pictured at the EU Headquarter in Brussels are, from left, Mick Parmar of HERI, Dr Mayte Martinez of Acondaqua, Dr John Paul Bernard, CEO of Siarem, LJMU's Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a and project coordinator, Istvan Tempfli of Technosam, Jim McGrath, CEO of Ashleigh Farms and Ken McGrath, Exploitation Manager of Ashleigh Farms.