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National facility to expand use of plants by industry is opened

06 July 2012

Business secretary Vince Cable has opened the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) at the University of York. The BDC integrates modern genetics with green chemistry and processing techniques to create renewable chemicals and materials. It will support industry in developing manufacturing technologies that use plants, microbes and biowastes as the raw materials for high value products.

Dr Joe Ross, director of the BDC at York
Dr Joe Ross, director of the BDC at York

The open-access facilities bridge the gap between the laboratory and industry, providing companies and academia with a way to test, develop and scale up biorefining processes. The unique feature of the BDC is that it can also use molecular breeding to rapidly improve plants and microbes as raw materials for these processes. This creates the potential to source high value chemicals from plants by developing novel crops or improving those already in use.

The BDC has already initiated a range of projects including work on a project to help a small company turn industrial waste into valuable chemicals, with the help of specially-developed strains of the mould, Aspergillus.5

The BDC is based at the University of York, within the York Science Park Bio Centre, providing access to state-of-the-art facilities and business support services.

For more information, click here.

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