Global biomass network to encourage researchers


30 June 2015

Aston University is leading a new global biomass network, GB3 -Net, which will increase alternative energy research opportunities for young scientists.

The Bioenergy, Biofuels and Biorefining network (GB3 -Net) comprises an international team of leading scientists and engineers from the UK, US, Brazil and China, with expertise spanning different biomass processing technologies across renewable energy and chemicals.

The aim is to provide younger researchers with unrivalled access to expertise and technologies in catalytic biomass conversion - the process of transforming organic material (biomass) obtained from agricultural waste - into viable forms of high value chemicals and transportation fuels.

Professor Karen Wilson, Director of Research at Aston’s European Bioenergy Research Institute, said the network, due to launch in July 2015, will encourage student exchange and PhD research opportunities across partner universities.  

Professor Wilson, said: “We want to create a platform to enhance global research capacity and capabilities into biorefining processes which importantly will be economically viable.  This new network will empower younger researchers with unrivalled access to expertise in biorefining, while instilling an ethos for interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Areas of research undertaken by GB3 -Net will include developing sustainable energy sources for transportation fuels and a sustainable feedstock for organic chemicals manufacturing which also mitigate CO2 and atmospheric particulate emissions from burned agricultural residues. A particular focus on the network will be methodologies for utilising rice straw and bagasse which are a plentiful and unlocked resource across Asia and Brazil. 

Partners in the project include: University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics; University of Kentucky; University of Massachusetts Amherst; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.


For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or