16 June 2017

International biogas event looks to future

International biogas event looks to future

International biogas experts will gather at Abertay University to deliver a three-day knowledge transfer workshop aimed at sharing best practice in the sector.

Biogas experts from Germany will be joined by leading figures from across the UK at the event, which will investigate the future of the industry across the continent and ways to make it more efficient.

As well as drilling into key issues affecting the sector such as the operation of biogas energy plants and maximising yields, the conference, running from Tuesday June 20 to Thursday June 22, will also discuss how unconventional novel feedstocks the likes of algae and wool fibres can be harnessed to produce power.

Hosted by Abertay’s Urban Water Technology Centre in Dundee (UWTC), the event is run jointly organised by Abertay University, Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the International Biogas and Bioenergy Centre of Competence (IBBK Fachgruppe Biogas) in Germany.

Professor Joseph Akunna of Abertay’s School of Science Engineering and Technology, and UWTC Co-Director, said the in-depth seminar would shape future advances in renewable energy production.

He added: “Biogas has now been accepted worldwide as the most sustainable way of dealing with food wastes. We are now seeing in Dundee, and all over the UK, increased emphasis for separate collection of food wastes. The reason being to ensure that a high proportion of food wastes is diverted to biogas plants.

“There has been a massive increase in biogas plants in Scotland in the last 10 years and this is increasing. There is therefore a need for operators to share operational experiences and for researchers to disseminate new findings to the sector.

“Abertay is the only Scottish university to offer a guaranteed work placement on every civil engineering degree and only by equipping the next generation in this way will be solve our energy problems.

“One of the key worries of the industry is insufficient amounts of feedstock to meet the needs of the industry. The onus is therefore on researchers like those at Abertay University to come up with practical and feasible solutions.”

Abertay University has, in the past twenty years, made a significant contribution to international biogas research and has particularly played a leadership role in the growth of the technology in Scotland.

This is the second time this workshop has taken place in Scotland, the first being in 2015 also at Abertay University.

Delegates, comprising mainly of industry practitioners across Europe, are expected to attend the event, which will include study visits to biogas plants across Scotland.

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