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The Pyroformer: a more environmentally friendly energy-from-waste generator

18 May 2012

Researchers from the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University, have developed a novel energy-from-waste system called Pyroformer. Developed by Professor Andreas Hornung of EBRI, the Pyroformer can use multiple waste sources and therefore has less reliance on crops or products grown specifically for bioenergy processes. In fact, biochar - one of its by-products - can even be used as a fertiliser to increase crop yields.

The Pyroformer demonstrator
The Pyroformer demonstrator

Professor Hornung said: “This Pyroformer is the first of its kind in the UK and the first industrial scale plant is now up and running at Harper Adams University College before it is permanently installed on the Aston campus later this year. We are delighted with the tests taking place at Harper Adams which are demonstrating that this really is a low carbon, renewable and sustainable energy source."

The Pyroformer is capable of processing up to 100kg/h of biomass feed and when coupled with a gasifier it will have an output of 400kW - equivalent to providing power for 800 homes (based on a consumption of approximately 3,000kWh per home). It is currently being tested at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire before moving to its permanent home at EBRI’s new £16.5m ERDF funded laboratories later this year.

This facility will showcase the Pyroformer to industry and demonstrate how real-life solutions to the problems of biomass based residues and waste can be achieved, with both environmental and financial benefits for households, businesses and local authorities.

For more information about EBRI, click here.

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