In 2013, EBRI moved into brand new facilities on the Aston University campus. The new building was officially opened in October 2013 by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. It was re-opened on 31 October 2019 by the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, to celebrate 6 years of successful and impactful research.
EBRI has seven laboratories including two industrially focussed laboratories to allow EBRI to work with businesses to tackle industry issues. It means that EBRI is able to offer a full cycle from fundamental analytical scale research through to semi-industrial demonstrator research. Each laboratory is dedicated to a different area of research and includes: catalysis, high pressure processing and upgrading of fuels, thermal processing of biomass and waste materials, bioprocessing such as algae, and the characterisation of novel biofuels. The laboratories are available for feedstock, product and equipment tests.
The EBRI building can be fully powered in terms of heat and power by innovative technology developed by its researchers and including the Pyroformer™, a 400 kg/h gasifier demonstration (0.5MW) power plant asnd a 400kWe dual fuel engine for production of heat and power. The plant is able to provide the heat, electricity and cooling needed to power the building and also part of the Aston University campus.
EBRI’s laboratory and test equipment includes:
Biomass processing and analytical capabilities Four continuous fluid bed fast pyrolysis reaction systems for production of bio-oil, laboratory scale intermediate (slow) pyrolyser, two slow pyrolysis auger kilns and fluidised bed gasifiers with supporting analytical and characterisation facilities, including micro-reactor pyrolysis with close coupled GCMS-FID. Batch and continuous catalytic upgrading reactors are associated with the fast pyrolysis facilities. A 400 kg/h fluid bed gasifier coupled to a CHP engine which can power and heat the EBRI building. A substantial photo bioreactor is available for production of microalgae.
Heterogeneous catalysis capabilities A state-of-the-art catalysis research facility equipped with a suite of high pressure autoclaves and multi-position batch reactors for catalyst testing, in-situ spectroscopic and crystallographic techniques for catalyst characterisation (XPS, high pressure XRD, DRIFT, DRUV cells and ATR liquid flow cell), and adsorption techniques (porosimeters, pulse chemisorption) for surface area, porosity and active site analysis of porous catalysts. The laboratory has a continuous catalytic flow reactor for vapour/gas phase reactions equipped with online GC and MS analysis, plus several off line GC and HPLC instruments for monitoring catalytic reactions, large scale batch reactors and a suite of furnaces for catalyst synthesis.
Download EBRI's latest brochure which gives an overview of its facilities,research projects and business support initiatives.
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