Useful Resources

BEACON Publications

School of Chemistry

Main site Bangor

Supercritical CO2 extraction:

  • Small scale extractions i.e. 10 ml, 1000 ml and 1000 ml with an operating temperature up to 120°C and 50-600 bar
  • Pilot scale extractions of 2 x 15 litres.  Temperature range from 5- 80°C  and maximum pressure of 700 bar

Chemical and analytical:

  • 400MHz and 500MHz NMR spectroscopic facilities
  • Quadrupole mass spectrometers with GC and electrospray capability
  • FTIR spectrophotometers
  • GC and HPLC
  • X-ray diffraction and surface analysis
  • ICP-AES and graphite furnace flame Atomic Absorption spectroscopy
  • Organic synthesis

APPLICATIONS

A variety of opportunities are available to develop commercial opportunities. These include:

  • Pressurised refining of biomass to produce fibre for a range of applications e.g. garden decking composed of  fibre/ plastic composites
  • Production of packaging products from plant fibre
  • Formulation ,blending  and evaluation of bio based plastics
  • Chemical analysis of e.g. refined products
  • Isolation of plant chemicals  for use in the cosmetic and healthcare industries
  • Organic synthesis of  a range of plant chemicals  e.g. guanidines
  • Chemical alteration of e.g. alkaloids and fatty acids

School of Chemistry at Bangor University

Bangor University’s School of Chemistry houses all the analytical equipment and expertise needed for R&D work.  We have extensive research facilities at the School of Chemistry which are available to our commercial partners. These include:

Facilities and Analysis

  • Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gas Chromatography / Mass spectrometry (GCMS)
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Liquid Chromatography / Mass spectrometry (LCMS)
  • Gel permeation chromatography (GPC)
  • Mass spectrometry - Direct Insertion EI and Direct Infusion ESI techniques
  • Ion Chromatography (IC)
  • Flash chromatography (Preparative)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR)
  • Ultra violet / visible spectroscopy (UV/Vis)
  • Infra-Red spectroscopy (IR)
  • Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AA)
  • X-Ray diffraction (XRD)
  • Thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA/DSC)

Gas and Liquid Chromatography

Various chromatographic capabilities, including numerous GC and HPLC instruments. The HPLC instruments are equipped with UV and diode array detection and we also have facilities for Gel-Permeation Chromatography for the determination of the molecular weights of polymers. Flash chromatography systems afford the ability to separate complex mixtures of organic compounds and to isolate them in preparative quantities.

Mass Spectrometry

We house modern facilities for the measurement of mass spectra. Our suite of mass spectrometers include quadrupole, ion trap, triple quad and time-of-flight instruments with assorted ionisation modes including Electron and Electrospray ionization. When linked to powerful separation techniques such as Gas and Liquid chromatography these instruments provide a powerful tool for the identification and quantitation of a wide range of organic compounds. Advanced software allows library searching and deconvolution of spectra.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR)

We have NMR spectroscopic facilities at both 400MHz and 500MHz. Both these instruments have automated facility and have multinuclear probes (up to silver). Both machines also have broadband solid state and variable temperature solid state capabilities (originally developed in Bangor). They are able to produce multidimensional spectra and have inverse detection capability. Both machines can do variable temperature analysis of samples. The 500MHz machine also has the possibility of being connected to other systems such as LC and MS. Contact us directly for more details.

Infrared and Ultraviolet Spectrometry

We have a number of standard FTIR spectrophotometers for the measurement of routine samples.  UV spectra can be measured using standard instrumentation. There are facilities for kinetics measurements.

X-ray powder diffraction and Thermo-gravimetric analysis

Both X-ray powder diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis yield important information about the surface and bulk properties of materials and these instruments provide essential physical and chemical data for research.

Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AA)

Central to the research work of the department is the ability to accurately measure the concentrations of metals. We have modern atomic absorption instrumentation and also access to inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectroscopy – a powerful technique which can measure a wide range of elements simultaneously.

Ion Chromatography (IC)

The identification and quantitation of charged ionic species in a liquid is achieved by a modern ion chromatography system with the ability to analyse both cations and anions with conductivity detection.


These are in addition to well-equipped research laboratories for physical measurements, synthetic and trace analytical work as well as a team of experts working on the Beacon+ project.
 

Mona

Mona - Anglesey

The Bio products and Biorefining Technology Transfer Centre has been based at the Mona site since 2007.  The site has a number of key offerings.

Pressurised refiner consisting of

  • Modular Screw Device
  • Refiner disc (refining zone) with variable residence time 4- 30 min and 2- 20 bar
  • Blowline resination
  • 120 metre Flash drier
  • Fibre collection and mattress forming station
  • Prepress
  • Main hot press

Pilot scale apparatus:

  • 50 litre chemistry processing unit
  • 20 litre rotary evaporator
  • Pilot-scale chromatographic purification
  • Twin screw extruder for wood fibre and polymer composites
  • Film forming line

Resources

Secondary Processing

Secondary processing pilot laboratory

The pilot laboratory is an insulated mezzanine structure covering 168m2. The pilot laboratory comprises a variety of stand-alone and plug-and-play integrated equipment including:

Pre-treatment equipment:

  • A steam explosion rig for lignocellulosic pre-treatment. It is fitted with a 25kW integral steam boiler, capable of high temperature and pressure pre-treatment (>10 bar/180C) of lignocellulosic feedstocks.
  • Skid mounted dual duty pasteurizer capable of rapidly heating liquid feedstock from 4°C to 90°C running at a rate of either 50 or 500 litres/ hour

Bioconversion / Fermentation:

  • Three Applikon steam-in-place bacterial fermenters, two skid mounted 70 litre units and one bench mounted 30 litre unit.

Separation systems:

  • Two CEPA Z41 floor standing continuous (batch) solid/liquid clarifying centrifuges suitable for harvesting fermentation biomass.
  • Horizontal decanter centrifuge capable of >1000 litres/hour for continuous centrifugation of liquid feedstocks where the solids content is >3% w/v.
  • Mobile skid mounted ultra/ micro cross-flow filtration pilot plant.
  • Mobile skid mounted nano filtration/ reverse osmosis system.

The system is rated to 40 bar and fitted with in-line digital temperature, pressure and flow sensors Bench-top cross flow filtration system.

Preparative and analytical capabilities:

  • Hiden Analytical HPR20 QIC R&D mass spectrometer for specialist gas analysis research.
  • Varian 3400 FID GC with autosampler.
  • Dionex/Shodex HPLC system with refractive index detector for carbohydrate analysis.
  • Large-scale six channel preparative flash chromatography system.
  • One large (20 litre) and several small-scale rotary evaporators.
  • Additional laboratory equipment including: floor standing and bench-top shaking incubators, Hot Box oven, autoclave, bench top centrifuges, balances, freeze drying facilities.

Applications

A variety of opportunities are available to develop commercial activities. These include:

  • Analysis of plant biomass for e.g. bioactive compounds or other molecules of interest
  • Processing and isolation of bioactives and natural products from plant biomass
  • Conversion of woody plant biomass into pellets
  • Production of transport fuels from plant biomass
  • Production and isolation of fine chemicals from plant biomass
  • Production of biochar, activated charcoal and bio-oil from biomass
  • Production of precursors for bio-packaging
  • Life cycle assessment, economic analysis and system optimization associated with biorefining and the production of bio-products.

Aberystwyth Capabilities

Pre-treatment equipment

Secondary separation systems

Dual Duty Pasteuriser

Biotage Flash 75 Radial Compression

Nano Filtration/Reverse Osmosis Pilot Plant

Sharples P600 Decanter Centrifuge

Steam in Place Fermenters

Ultra/Micro Filtration Pilot Plant

Primary Processing

Primary Processing unit

The Primary Processing unit has 252m2 of floor space comprising an integrated 1 tonne/hour wet feedstock processing line together with a 400kg/hour pellet press production line for dry feedstock densification.

The integrated wet feedstock processing line consists of:

  • 15kW hammer mill
  • 10 inch interrupted flight screw press (7.5kW) capable of pressing 1 tonne fresh material per hour
  • A single phase, skid mounted 4 inch Vincent interrupted flight screw press for small scale trials of 50-200kg of material.
  • The press liquor is collected into two 750 litre (dairy) cooled holding tanks.

The pellet press line consists of:

  • Tote hopper into a vibratory feed to a 30kW hammer mill (3mm mesh)
  • 42kW pellet mill with a production capacity of up to 400kg/ hour for woody biomass
  • 3, 5 and 6 mm animal feed and biomass dies.
  • A wheeled (freestanding) vibratory feed hopper can be used to deliver premixed material directly to the front of the pellet mill for experimental batch production runs of 10 to 50kgs.

Aberystwyth Capabilities

Novel Batch Slow Pyrolysis Bio-Char Production Plant

The integrated wet biomass processing line

Static Forage Chopper

How can we help you?

BEACON offers businesses with interests in the biorefining sector access to the research, expertise and knowledge base of universities in Wales.

We can help:

  • Companies in the construction, packaging and manufacturing industries by developing new biocomposite materials
  • The bioscience industry – for example, developing new microbial or enzyme systems and technologies for the processing of biomass
  • The chemical industry by providing new sources of ‘green’ chemicals
  • Fuel producers by offering ‘green’ fuels, impacting on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and reducing carbon emissions
  • Rural communities by applying biorefinery technology to the processing of non-food crops

This encompasses a huge range of businesses in areas as diverse as: Agrochemicals, Bio Fuels, Coatings and Adhesives, Cosmetics and Personal, Essential Oils, Lubricants, Nutraceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, Speciality Polymers, Surfactants, Water and Effluent Treatment, for example.

BEACON partners can undertake:

  • Formulation of new biocomposites
  • Extrusion / bioplastics
  • Novel chemistries / applications
  • Metabolic engineering of yeasts
  • Protein modelling such as new enzymes, e.g. for food industry or bioprocessing

Training

Equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to be part of the new bioeconomy and train while you work!

 

The Advanced Training Partnership (ATP) offers online training for biotech industries with a range of modules that you can study simply to increase your skillset and knowledge-base, or build up into a range of postgraduate qualifications.

Finding low carbon alternatives to petroleum-based products underpins the growing green economy. This makes it an exciting time to be part of the rapidly developing Biotech Industries. However, biorefining is a highly technical field and the successful growth of the industry is resulting in a lack of sufficient staff with the technical knowledge necessary to support its expansion. This training programme has been designed in consultation with existing UK industries to address this skills shortage. Since this programme is aimed at people who are already working, training is delivered via distance learning.


Courses include:

September 2017


January 2018


May 2018

To find out more about distance learning and the qualifications you can obtain, click here

Glossary

Antioxidants

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation occurs as a result of a chemical reaction which transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent.

Bioplastics

Bioplastics are a particular type of plastic derived from renewable biomass sources including vegetable fats and oils, corn starch or micro biota. BEACON has the facilities to extract lactic acid from perennial rye grass for its conversion to polylactic acid – a type of bioplastic.

Biofuels

Biofuels are fuels produced from plant material (biomass). They are increasingly popular over fossil fuels to their environmental impact compared to non-renewable resources such as crude oil. Biofuels include biodiesel made from rapeseed oil and other plant oils, and bioethanol made from the fermentation of sugar in the biomass of energy crops.

Bioethanol

Bioethanol is a fuel used as a petrol substitute for road transport vehicles. Bioethanol is largely produced through sugar fermentation using biomass from energy crops. Energy crops are grown specifically for this function and can often yield sugar levels equal to that of the sugar cane plant. Ethanol is a clear colourless liquid, biodegradable, with low toxicity and causes little environmental pollution if spilt.

Biomass

Biomass is any biological material derived from living or recently living organisms. Biomass deriving from plant or plant-based material is known as lignocellulosic biomass.

Biorefinery

A biorefinery is a facility integrating equipment and processes for the conversion of biomass feedstock into a host of valuable chemicals and energy with minimal waste and emissions. The core technology is a unique thermal reactor devoted to sequential, linear biomass fractionation through steam auto-hydrolysis.

Biorefining

Biorefining is the process of converting biomass as a feedstock into a variety of products. Biomass has a variety of components including lignin, cellulose, extractives etc which can be converted into biofuels, bioplastics, and biocomposite materials amongst others. A biorefinery takes advantage of the properties in biomass to allow for the production of these products.

Carbon Neutral

Carbon Neutral refers to the attainment of zero carbon emissions through balancing a measured amount of carbon released in a process with an equivalent quantity offset – or in some cases purchasing enough carbon credits to counterbalance the difference. Carbon neutrality is used in the context of processes which release carbon dioxide (CO2), these often include transportation, energy production, and industrial processes.

Centrifuge

The centrifuge is a piece of process equipment used to separate immiscible liquids using centrifugation (a separation process which uses the action of centrifugal force to promote accelerated settling of particles in a solid-liquid mixture).

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is a natural green pigment found in cyanobacteria and the chloroplasts of algae and plants. Chlorophyll is one of only a few natural green pigments, and as such is registered as a food additive for its colour properties in E140. In culinary use chlorophyll is most commonly used in pasta and absinthe.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates refers to carbohydrates with a chemical structure that consists of three or more sugars, usually linked together to form a chain. These sugar chains are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Due to their complex structure, this type of carbohydrate takes longer to digest and don’t raise the sugar levels in the blood as fast as simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are used in the body as a fuel and contribute significantly to the production of energy.

Cross Flow Filtration

Cross-flow filtration is a type of filtration where the majority of the flow travels tangentially across the surface of a filter, rather than into a filter. Cross-flow filtration’s main advantage over dead-end filtration is that the “filter cake” is mostly washed away during the filtration process, increasing the time that the filter unit can remain operational in a single session.

Energy Crops

Generally categorised as woody or herbaceous plants, an energy crop is a plant grown as a low-cost and low-maintenance harvest used to make biofuels. In the commercial sense, energy crops are typically a densely planted, high yielding crop species, where the end product will be burnt to generate power.

Enzymes

An enzyme is a substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. Most enzymes are proteins with large complex molecules whose action depends on their particular molecule shape. Some enzymes control reactions within cells and some, such as the enzymes involved with digestion, control the reactions outside cells.

Fermentation

Fermentation is an anaerobic cellular process whereby organic substances such as yeast and bacteria are converted into simpler compounds, and chemical energy is produced. Fermentation is often used to convert sugars into acids, gases and or alcohol.

Fructan

A fructan is a polymer of fructose molecules.  Fructans with a short chain length are known as “fructtooligosaccharides”. Fructans occur in foods such as agave, artichokes, asparagus, leeks, garlic, and onions. In animal fodder, fructans also appear in grass, with dietary implications for horses and other equidae.

Hammer Mill

A hammer mills is a primary processing piece of equipment with the main purpose of shredding or crushing aggregate material into smaller pieces.

Lipids

Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules which include fats, waxes, sterols, and fat soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K. The primary biological functions of lipids include the storing of energy, signalling, and acting as structural components of cell membranes. Lipids have an active application in the cosmetic, food and nano technology industries.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is a chemical compound that plays a role in various biochemical processes. Using a number of secondary processing equipment lactic acid can be converted for use in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and bio plastic sectors.

Life Cycle Analysis

Life cycle analysis (LCA) is a systematic approach to identifying, measuring, documenting and interpreting the environmental consequences of a product. An LCA can look at the entire life cycle of a product from raw material extraction through to end of life disposal, and all of the stages in between, including transportation.

Low Carbon Economy

A low carbon economy is an economy that has a minimal output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the environment biosphere, but specifically in reference to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Pasteurizer

Pasteurization is the heating of a sample followed by rapid cooling with the primary objective of sterilization without changing the chemical structure of the sample.

Platform Chemicals

Platform chemicals are compounds which can be used to produce a broad range of technologically relevant substances.

Primary Processing

In many cases biomass cannot be used directly, so to improve access to key molecules and compounds, a number of primary processes must be used. The initial phase of processing includes the use of mechanical and physiochemical approaches such as chopping, hammering and pelleting.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane. The membrane technology is not a proper filtration method. During reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure, a colligative property that is driven by chemical potential. Reverse osmosis can remove many types of molecules and ions from solutions, and is used in both industrial processes and the production of potable water.

Screw Press

The screw press is a type of machine press where the ram is driven up and down by a screw. A screw press can be used to separate liquids from solids. Within BEACON the screw press is incorporated into the integrated wet biomass processing line. The screw press is used to separate the “green juice” for secondary processing from the grass fibre.

Secondary Processing

Once the initial processing has taken place it is then possible to use biological and chemical methods to convert the raw biomass into high value end products. In many cases enzymes and microorganisms are used to help reduce complex molecules from the plants into simple building blocks such as sugars. These solutions are then converted into chemicals using microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi. Methods then need to be developed to isolate these molecules. This is where technologies such as supercritical fluids extraction, centrifugation, and membrane systems are used to help purify the desired outputs.

Succinic Acid

Succinic acid is a white odourless diprotic acid traditionally extracted from petroleum, but can now be sourced using biomass from plants such as perennial rye grasses. Succinic acid has various applications including use in plastics, textiles, pharmaceutical drugs, food additives and solvents.

Ultra Filtration

Ultra filtration is a variety of membrane filtration in which forces such as pressure or concentration gradients leads to separation through a semipermeable membrane. The separations functionality of the BEACON facility includes a comprehensive array of both pilot and laboratory scale continuous centrifugal and cross-flow filtration systems suitable for a wide range of biorefining applications.

Biorefining

What is biorefining?

Biorefining takes organic material e.g. plants and uses a series of mechanical, biological and chemical processes to convert the biomass into a broad range of commercially important products including pharmaceuticals, transport fuels, energy sources and chemicals.

The aim of BEACON

The main aim of BEACON is to use the concept of biorefining to work with end user companies, in order to identify a wide range of products from plant material which are tailored to their requirements. The biorefinery concept uses non-food crop feedstocks in much the same way that oil refineries use crude oil to produce a broad spectrum of commodity products. It seeks to give manufacturing companies a commercial advantage in the marketing of these renewable products as well in the future environmental and economic sustainability of their businesses through application of these developing technologies.

The benefits of biorefining

  • Some of the industrial chemicals produced from oil can be replaced with similar molecules from plants that could supply potentially lucrative markets within easy reach of Welsh producers
  • Turning crops such as rye grass, miscanthus, oats and artichokes into valuable fuels and chemicals would cut back on greenhouse gases and would increase fuel and chemical security whilst adding value to the Welsh economy.
  • Chemicals derived from plants have uses in a range of sectors, including transport, food, health, hygiene and the environment.
  •  New materials such as bio-composites and bio-plastics can be developed
  • As well as creating and safeguarding jobs in West Wales and the Valleys, the pioneering work will help develop science in Wales.

Sustainability is a key corporate responsibility for businesses seeking to develop and grow - BEACON can help you meet your environmental obligations and your commercial objectives.
 

Life Cycle Assessment, Economic Analysis and System Optimisation

The increased awareness of the importance of environmental impacts associated with products has led to the development of methods to better understand these impacts. One technique that has been developed for this purpose is life cycle assessment (LCA).
 

LCA is a systematic approach to identifying, measuring, documenting and interpreting the environmental consequences of a product. There are standards that define the principles and framework for LCA, and assist in the creation of a LCA which follows a blueprint that others can use to understand the findings. There are also standards which specify different methodologies for certain products such as fuels which have to follow a “well to wheel” approach.


LCA can look at the entire life cycle of a product from raw material extraction through to end of life disposal, and all of the stages in between including transportation. This type of LCA gives the most complete analysis, and considers the environmental implications of the whole supply-chain of products, both goods and services, their use, and waste management, from “cradle to grave”.


However it may not be desirable or possible to conduct an entire LCA, in which case a partial LCA will be done which focuses on a section or sections of the life cycle. Partial LCA can be extremely useful for industrial applications where the company may only have control over one section of the life cycle of the product, or where a company would like to focus on a particular part of the product life cycle to make improvements.


At BEACON we have experience in conducting both full and partial LCA, enabling the identification of hot spots either in the whole product life cycle or specific parts such as manufacturing or product assembly. We have expertise in LCA using the market leading software SimaPro which gives us access to datasets applicable to modelling products and processes worldwide.


Economic modelling is a key tool in the development of new products and processes. It is the in-depth collection and analysis of costing data on the product life cycle including supporting infrastructure and processing costs. It can enable the development of more efficient solutions by providing goal posts for the economic production of new products.  At Aberystwyth University we have experience of economic models and have prepared multi-scenario models for new biofuel products which show how such production can fit into an existing agricultural system and at which point that system becomes commercially viable.


Using the expertise with the BEACON team at Aberystwyth and its partner universities we can design targeted biotechnology solutions, utilising life cycle design, computer modelling, economic analysis, laboratory facilities and the custom built pilot facilities. This enables us to use an integrated approach which can add value to research projects by ensuring that the system used and products produced are not only technologically achievable but also environmentally and economically viable.

Case Studies

BEACON: helping companies innovate.

Regio Stars 2014

A prestigious European Commission RegioStars Award 2014 has been won by the BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence, an innovative Welsh research partnership dedicated to developing industrial products from plants to reduce reliance on fossil-based resources such as coal and gas.

Researchers at BEACON work with industry, including small and medium sized enterprises, to develop renewable materials, fuels and chemicals as well as modified and new environmental and economically sustainable processes.

Led by Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), BEACON was one of 4 projects to be shortlisted in the “Sustainable growth: Green growth and jobs through Bio-economy” category.

The other three were Ecoponto em casa from Portugal, ORGANEXT from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands and ARBOR which has partners from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium.

On receiving the award in Brussels alongside BEACON project’s Iain Donnison Welsh Government Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “This is an excellent example of how EU projects are delivering in Wales through ground-breaking research and innovation which is helping to drive our economy and global competitiveness. This also demonstrates the importance of EU membership to Wales and the benefits of EU Funds to people across the region.”

The Regio Stars awards have been organised by the European Commission since 2008 with the objective of identifying good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions.

The RegioStars Awards Jury singled out 19 finalists from 80 projects supported by European Union Cohesion Policy funds on the basis of four key criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership.

The finalists came from regions and cities in 17 Member States: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

 

Novel Batch Slow-Pyrolysis Bio-Char Production Plant

Aberystwyth University’s thermochemical, biochar facility includes a bench-scale tube furnace, a pilot-scale batch slow pyrolysis plant and post-process analytical capabilities, designed to provide a wide-ranging biochar research facility to academic and industry clients.

The plant’s purpose is for collaborative projects and for the bespoke production of the full range of biomass chars in quantities up to the capacity of the unit (1.2m3), for research, and practical application in soil and water remediation, nutrient retention etc.  We welcome interest from any institutions or companies interested in biochar production and use.

The tube furnace has a temperature range of 200 – 10000C, with a choice of reaction gases and a capacity of 10g – 1 kg depending on material.

The pilot-scale slow-pyrolysis plant can carbonise a wide range of types and sizes of lignocellulosic biomass material. The plant optimises the production of solid char yield, and the capturing of condensable-volatile liquids, and facilitates a wide range of Highest Treatment Temperatures (HTT) and residence times.  It was designed and installed by Sustainable Energy Ltd.

.

Projects undertaken have included:

•   Bulk production of grass chars for a DEFRA-funded Metal Mine Remediation report, using char as a treatment medium, for contaminated mine water in the Mid-Wales Ore Field region
•   Trial charring of Juncus effusus rushes from Mid-Wales uplands, and phragmities reeds from the National Coal Authority water remediation site at Merthyr Taf in South Wales for mine water remediation
•   Supply of trial charred straw for Myco Solutions project on soil substrates

Process

Combustion gases are drawn into the feedstock carboniser to initiate endothermic reaction.  Decomposition of the feedstock releases hot-gas volatiles which supplement the combustor and reduce fuel oil requirement.  Maximum temperature and residence time are automatically controlled.  Charred material can be naturally cooled or rapid-quenched with N2 or CO2 on completion.

Char production

The heating process uses a simple static heating vessel, which means that a wide variety of feedstocks can be processed in the unit in terms of both biomass type and particle size, ranging from fine-pressed grass, through pelleted material to larger, unprocessed material. The plant can also be utilised for the production of more bulky, torrified biomass for use as charcoal fuel.

50kg of feedstock will yield ~ 20kg of char and ~20kg of water/bio oil mix.

Loading of feedstock-filled stillage unit into unit for heating run

 

Fine-pressed grass feedstock and the char produced from it

 

Related analytical capabilities

•   Thermogravimetric Analysis
•   Pyrolysis Fourier transform infra-red radioscopy (FTIR)
•   Differential Scanning Calorimetry TGA/FTIR
•   Gas Calorimetry mass spectrometry  (GC-MS)
•   Pyrolysis GC MS
•   Ramen Microscopy

 

For further information about this facility please contact:

Mike Morris – Business Development Manager: 01970 823079, email tem@aber.ac.uk
Damon Hammond – Process engineer, pyrolysis: 01970 823089, email ddh@aber.ac.uk
Sian Thomas Jones – Senior research technician: 01970 823132, email stj@aber.ac.uk

 

About Us

BEACON is led by Aberystwyth University in collaboration with partners at Bangor and Swansea Universities. We are backed with £10.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

BEACON will build on research already underway at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) to produce fuels from energy crops such as high-sugar grasses like rye.

Bangor University will build on work to develop new materials and chemicals from plants which can be used to develop innovative products.

BEACON will also enable Swansea University to focus on developing their expertise in using bacteria and fungi to digest, or ferment, plant matter within the biorefining process.

BEACON aims to contribute to developing renewable energy and assist in the transition to a low carbon economy with an overall objective of mitigating the impact of climate change.

BEACON is seeking to:

  • Establish links between the business community and academia within Wales.
  • Develop new products and processes that will support economic growth.
  • Create highly skilled jobs in the area of green biotechnology.
  • Support inward investment.
  • Promote science excellence from Wales.

BEACON has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
It focuses on the development of a viable Welsh bio-economy through the expansion of green supply chains.

Open Source

Partner Programs

This software has been specifically designed to facilitate communication between all parties involved in a project and act as a database of contacts, a means of readily tracking interactions and a "one stop shop" for documentation relating to a project.

BEACON database system for CRM and Project Management
Copyright (C) 2013 BEACON

This software is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This software is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License (below) for more details.

The BEACON Office:

Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS),
Aberystwyth University,   Gogerddan, Aberystwyth,
Ceredigion,
SY23 3EB

To obtain the software, contact Melissa Mason (mgm@aber.ac.uk)

Resources

BEACON Conference 2013

Dr Steve Fish
Deputy Director of BEACON, Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University

Steve is the Research and Strategic Funding Manager at IBERS, leading a team focused on generating new funding opportunities for the Institute. The team collectively have had a variety of success over the last two years including the Advanced Training Partnership Award (ATP), a raft of successful TSB projects and BEACON, a WEFO funded project valued in excess of £20M.  Steve acts as the Management lead for BEACON working closely with colleagues, both internally and those based at Bangor and Swansea Universities. BEACON is currently moving through a rapid and exciting phase of development and Steve is involved in or responsible for a variety of activities.

Please click on the link to Steve's presentation:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxbpkzie30x6dru/Steve%20Fish_BEACON%20conference%202013_pptx.pdf

Trisha Toop
Life Cycle Analyst, Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University

Trisha Toop is the life cycle analyst for BEACON and is based in Aberystwyth University. She has a background in mechanical engineering, genetics and biochemistry and uses these diverse skills in whole system techno-economic and environmental evaluations.  Trisha has been involved in the development of models assessing the environmental impacts of biomass based energy production. Her current research area is in the assessment of systems for plant based products and energy production on both an economic and environmental level. She works closely with companies to help them identify areas within current production systems that could be improved using biotechnology solutions and producing models for their implementation. 

Please click on the link to see Trisha's presentation:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/dppdgkoh72y1n8n/trisha%20presentation%20web.pdf

Preben Krabben
Senior Research Scientist and Project Manager at Green Biologics Ltd

Please click on the link to see Preben's presentation: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1bgqa3buyolnu7y/Preben_BEACON%20Llandudno%2012jun13.pdf

Dr David Randall
Research and Development Manager, Chemoxy International

David Randall is R&D Manager at Chemoxy International Ltd, a medium sized chemical company based in Teesside, North East England. David started  his career with Courtaulds after obtaining his PhD at Manchester. At Courtaulds, he worked mainly in the field of Polymer Chemistry, but with a significant emphasis on Cellulose as a building block for fibres and films. He moved to Chemoxy in 1993, which was then owned by a mini-conglomerate (Suter.) Ultimately, Chemoxy became part of Dow in 2001. The company was acquired by its Management in 2012. For the last 5 years, David has had an active involvement in the development of IB in a series of projects with academic and industrial partners.

Please click on the link to see David's presentation:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/myywc435w5wx4kk/David%20Randall_Llandudno%20BEACON%20Presentation.pdf

Dr Adrian Higson
Head of Biorefining, NNFCC

Dr Adrian Higson is the Head of Biorefining at NNFCC, a Bioeconomy Consultancy based in York, UK.  He is the Industrial Coordinator for BBSRC’s biorefining industry club ‘IBTI’ and the UK Bio-Innovation Agent for the strategic European Interreg funded Bio Base NWE project.  Adrian works with global brands to develop their understanding of the opportunities and risks presented by the bio-based economy and acts as an advisor to the UK Government.  Adrian obtained his PhD from the University of Liverpool and subsequently held posts at the Universities of Colorado and Dundee.  Prior to joining the NNFCC he was a Project Manager at the Sigma-Aldrich chemical company.

Please click on the link to see Adrian's presentation:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/4g20pltw4ie9dbe/A%20Higson_Bridging%20the%20Bioeconomy%20Innovation%20Gap%20-%20The%20Bio%20Base%20NWE%20Project.pdf
 

Dr Zsolt Gemesi
Deputy Director of the UK Co-location Centre of Climate-KIC

 

Zsolt currently works at Imperial College, London and is the Deputy Director of the UK Co-location Centre of Climate-KIC. With a soil science and aquatic ecology background, his past research focused on interactions of landscape-level management and water quality. Zsolt worked as a science policy advisor for various government bodies and has experience in bridging gaps between academia and government.

Please click on the link to see Zsolt's presentation:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/ausrj5jrmjy2mto/Climate-KIC%20Building%20a%20better%20Bioeconomy%20120613%20ZG.pdf

Dr Edward Hodgson
Low-Carbon Energy and Environment Strategy Network (LiCENSE), Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University

Edward currently manages the Low Carbon Energy and Environment Strategy Network (A4B) which aims to engage academia and business to support sustainable economic development in the low carbon sector. Edward has a multidisciplinary science background which includes forestry (BSc UW Bangor), animal production (MSc, UW Bangor), bioenergy crop biology and themochemical conversion (PhD Aston University). 

Please click on the link to see Edward's presentation:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/uz9ewh6lp3p4gsy/E%20Hodgson%20-%20BEACON%20conference.pdf


 

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Life Cycle Assessment, Economic Analysis and System Optimisation

The increased awareness of the importance of environmental impacts associated with products has led to the development of methods to better understand these impacts. One technique that has been developed for this purpose is life cycle assessment (LCA).
 

LCA is a systematic approach to identifying, measuring, documenting and interpreting the environmental consequences of a product. There are standards that define the principles and framework for LCA, and assist in the creation of a LCA which follows a blueprint that others can use to understand the findings. There are also standards which specify different methodologies for certain products such as fuels which have to follow a “well to wheel” approach.


An LCA can look at the entire life cycle of a product from raw material extraction through to end of life disposal, and all of the stages in between including transportation. This type of LCA gives the most complete analysis. And considers the environmental implications of the whole supply-chain of products, both goods and services, their use, and waste management, from “cradle to grave”.


However it may not be desirable or possible to conduct an entire LCA in this case a partial LCA will be done which focuses on a section or sections of the life cycle. Partial LCA can be extremely useful for industrial applications where the company may only have control over one section of the life cycle of the product, or where a company would like to focus on a particular part of the product life cycle to make improvements.


At Aberystwyth University we have experience in conducting both full and partial LCA, enabling the identification of hot spots either in the whole product life cycle or specific parts such as manufacturing or product assembly. We have expertise in LCA using the market leading software SimaPro which gives us access to datasets applicable to modelling products and processes worldwide.


Economic modelling is a key tool in the development of new products and processes. It is the in-depth collection and analysis of costing data on the product life cycle including supporting infrastructure and processing costs. It can enable the development of more efficient solutions by providing goal posts for the economic production of new products.  At Aberystwyth University we have experience of economic models and have prepared multi-scenario models for new biofuel products which show how such production can fit into an existing agricultural system and at which point that system becomes commercially viable.


Using the expertise with the BEACON team both at Aberystwyth and partner universities we can design targeted biotechnology solutions, utilising life cycle design, computer modelling, economic analysis, laboratory facilities and the custom built pilot facilities. This enables us to use an integrated approach which can add value to research projects by ensuring that the system used and products produced are not only technologically achievable but also environmentally and economically viable.

 

Resources

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Ultra/Micro Filtration Pilot Plant

Secondary separation systems

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The separations functionality of the facility includes a comprehensive array of both pilot and laboratory scale continuous centrifugal and cross-flow filtration systems suitable for a wide range of biorefining applications.

Ultra/Micro Filtration Pilot Plant

The Ultra/Micro filtration (UF/MF) rig is a mobile skid housed within the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. This filtration rig was specifically designed and built for the BEACON project.

Technology summary:

Key features are:

  • Choice of either 2540 (2.5” diameter) or 4040 (4” diameter) spiral wound or tubular industrial sized filtration cartridges giving a filtration surface area up to 7m2.
  • 100 litre feedstock reservoir with ability to link to larger vessel (eg. IBC) if required.
  • Small hold-up volume (approx 8 litres on 4x40 spiral wound membrane).
  • Pump duty of 133 litres/min at 3.0 bar.
  • Simple operation with pump mounted inverter and control and digital inlet pressure transducer.
  • Tri-clamp connectors.

Though large by laboratory standards the rig is relatively small compared to industrial pilot plants, as such it is capable of providing a convenient scale-up option for intermediate process development where the feedstock may be limited or of particularly high value. As it has been designed to take commercially available, industrial sized cartridges of either tubular or spiral wound format it will allow representative flow and flux measurements to be extrapolated to calculate realistic costings for process scale up.

APPLICATIONS

A typical range of applications for UF/MF continuous membrane filtration currently used in industry are shown below:

Application Permeate Concentrate
Platform chemicals clarified fermentation broth Waste product/ high value microorganisms
Antibiotics clarified fermentation broth waste product
Anaerobic digester waste clarified liquid for discharge microbes to be recycled
Enzymes/proteins waste product high value product
Milk lactose solution protein concentrate for cheese production
Oil emulsion oil free water (<10 ppm) highly concentrated oil emulsion dirty water (waste product)
Water clarified water waste product
Whey lactose solution whey protein concentrate
Landfill/waste leachate clarified water for discharge waste product

Static Forage Chopper

The integrated wet biomass processing line

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The integrated wet biomass process line is housed in the Primary Processing Unit of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. The processing line comprises a series of stainless steel conveyors that feed and/or remove wet biomass between the two processing machines, these being a 15 kW large-mesh hammer mill (forage chopper) and a 10” diameter dewatering screw press.

Static Forage Chopper

The flail type hammer mill is fixed to floor mountings with a 15 kW three phase drive. It has a new stainless steel vertical drop inlet chute specifically designed and manufactured for its inclusion in the BEACON primary processing unit. Control is through an integrated panel mounted on the screw press frame that also controls both the conveyor feed to the forage chopper and removal of processed material and delivery to the screw press via a 5 m long conveyor.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • Wet or dry biomass feedstock applications
  • Heavy duty 15 kW motor drive.
  • Integrated mobile stainless steel conveyor feed (4m long).
  • Choice of mesh sizes from ~5mm to 25mm or no mesh use.
  • Cyclone output to minimise dust with dry biomass.
  • Complies with PUWER safety regulations.

APPLICATIONS

While designed as a forage shredder for use on relatively dry material this machine has been successfully employed on the IBERS Grassohol and allied projects for the pre-processing of a range of field wet (75% moisture) forage grasses. The maceration/shredding effect that the chopper gives leads to a significantly better liquor yield from subsequent screw press dewatering. It is also suitable for the chipping, to a range of sizes, of small diameter stem energy crops including miscanthus and willow.

Steam in Place Fermenters

Bioconversion/Fermentation

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The Bioconversion/Fermentation section of the facility comprises a variety of bench-top and pilot scale steam-in-place fermenters.

Steam in Place Fermenters

Two 70 litre mobile skid mounted units and a single 30 litre bench top steam-in-place (SIP) fermenters are housed in the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • All units are manufactured by Applikon.
  • Designed for bacterial/yeast culture, though one 70 l unit has been adapted for cell culture use also.
  • Individual control through ADI-1030 units.
  • Minimum working volume ~3 litres (30 litre unit) and ~5 litres (70 litre units).
  • Choice of either overhead or bottom impeller drive on the 70 litre units.
  • Electric heater control of jacket temperature.
  • pH, DO and biomass probes are available.

APPLICATIONS

The BEACON pilot facility bioreactors can be used for a diverse range of applications from scale-up optimisation experiments for biomass conversion to the harvesting of novel enzymes, proteins or other high value fermentative biproducts. The bioconversion of biomass derived sugars to simple C2 products such as ethanol or more valuable C3 and C4 platform chemicals will be a particular focus of the research carried out within the BEACON facility.

Sharples P600 Decanter Centrifuge

Secondary separation systems

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The separations functionality of the facility includes a comprehensive array of both pilot and laboratory scale continuous centrifugal and cross-flow filtration systems suitable for a wide range of biorefining applications.

Sharples P600 Decanter Centrifuge

The P600 decanter centrifuge is a fixed rig housed within the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. This is a refurbished unit purchased specifically the BEACON project previously used for the separation of suspended biomass.

echnology summary:

The key features are:

  • Stainless steel bowl 152mm diameter x 353mm long.
  • Belt driven by three phase 3.5kW motor with starter control on unit.
  • 51mm pitch single lead hard surfaced conveyor (scroll) driven via a fixed speed gearbox with torque arm.
  • Maximum 6000 RPM (~6100 G).
  • Mounted on 1.2m high stand with continuous solid and liquor take off.
  • >1000 litres/hr throughput.

Decanter centrifuges consist of cylindrical and conical bowl sections rotating on pillow block bearings. Separated solids collect on the periphery of the cylindrical rotor and are scraped to discharge sludge ports in the conical bowl section by means of a conveyor or scroll of the same contour as the bowl. Separation can be arranged for either clarification or purification dependant on the weight and extent of solids in the feedstock. The relative speed between the bowl and the scroll is controlled by a planetary or cyclonic gearbox integral to the decanter centrifuge. The scroll is generally hard surfaced for wear and erosion protection.

APPLICATIONS AND PROCESSES

The typical range of applications and processes for decanter centrifuges currently used in industry are shown below:

Applications

  • Clarification of Liquids
  • Dewatering of solids
  • Concentration of liquids

Processes

  • Edible and non edible rendering, Animal Blood
  • Fine Chemicals, Chemical intermediates and waste
  • Pharmaceutical (Antibiotics, Enzymes Harvesting)
  • Fruit Juices and Pulp
  • Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Sulphate
  • Mixed primary raw and waste-activated sludge
  • Wine, Brewers Grain and Yeast, Ethanol Stillage Dewatering
  • Oilfield, Drilling Mud
  • Waste oil, slop oil
  • Industrial waste and effluents
  • Petrochemicals, Refinery Tank Bottom Cleaning
  • Fish Oil, Fish Meal
  • Food and dairy processing effluents
  • Tea, coffee, Lactose
  • Municipal wastewater
  • Sludge thickening and dewatering
  • Pulp and Paper mill effluents
  • PVC Dewatering
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Aerobic/anaerobic digestion sludge

Secondary separation systems - cross-flow filtration

Secondary separation systems

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The separations functionality of the facility includes a comprehensive array of both pilot and laboratory scale continuous centrifugal and cross-flow filtration systems suitable for a wide range of biorefining applications.

Sartorius Sartoflow Alpha DL

The Sartoflow DL cross-flow filtration system is bench top system housed within the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth.

Technology summary:

Key features are:

  • Flat plate type membrane format.
  • Range of Sartocon Slice cassette choices of both pore size and membrane material.
  • 10 litre jacketed feedstock reservoir.
  • Endress and Hauser data logger.
  • Capacitance based permeate flow meter.
  • Inlet, return and permeate pressure transmitters.
  • Rotary lobe pump for shear sensitive and reliable operation (500 l/h at 4 bar, 20°C).
  • Sartocon Slice filter holder for up to 5 cassettes (0.5 m2 membrane area).
  • Minimum working volume < 400 ml (depending on filter area and accessories).
  • Tri-clamp connectors.
  • Overpressure and dry running protection.

APPLICATIONS

The Sartoflow Alpha bench-top systems are designed to fulfil the requirements of small scale crossflow filtration systems for MF/UF in pharmaceutical and biotech applications. It is mainly used in cGMP facilities to run scale-up and scale-down trials as well as small scale production lots. The system is commonly used for the purification of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins, concentration of native enzymes and fractionation of polymeric compounds.

Nano Filtration/Reverse Osmosis Pilot Plant

Secondary separation systems

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The separations functionality of the facility includes a comprehensive array of both pilot and laboratory scale continuous centrifugal and cross-flow filtration systems suitable for a wide range of Biorefining applications.

Nano Filtration/Reverse Osmosis Pilot Plant

The nano-filtration/reverse osmosis (NF/RO) rig is a mobile skid housed within the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. This filtration rig was specifically designed and built for the BEACON project.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • Choice of either 2540 (2.5” diameter) or 4040 (4” diameter) high pressure stainless steel housings to take standard industrial sized spiral wound filtration cartridges giving a filtration surface area up to 7m2.
  • 100 litre feedstock reservoir with ability to link to larger vessel (eg. IBC) if required.
  • Small hold-up volume (approx 10 litres on 4x40 spiral wound membrane).
  • Designed to run at up to 50°C and 40 bar pressure.
  • Single unit three phase 3kw pump with maximum flow of 1400l/hr and 40 bar pressure.
  • Simple operation through integrated control panel with digital flow, temperature and pressure sensors.
  • Data capture capability through separate data logger.
  • Tri-clamp connectors.

Though large by laboratory standards the rig is relatively small compared to industrial pilot plants, as such it is capable of providing a convenient scale-up option for intermediate process development where the feedstock may be limited or of particularly high value. As it has been designed to take commercially available, industrial sized cartridges of either tubular or spiral wound format it will allow representative flow and flux measurements to be extrapolated to calculate realistic costings for process scale up.

APPLICATIONS

A typical range of NF/RO applications currently used in industry are shown below:

Mode Application Permeate Concentrate
RO Industrial water recycling RO water dirty water (waste product)
  Thin sugar solutions Clean water for recycling Concentrated sugars
  Dyeing & pulp & paper effluent Clean water BOD, salt, chemicals, waste products
  Platform chemical production Clean water Concentrated product
  Water Low salinity water salty water
  Whey Low BOD permeate whey concentrate
NF Sugar purification clarified sugars Waste product
  Hard water Soft water Concentrated divalent salts
  Edible oils Degummed oils Waste product
  Antibiotics/ pharmaceuticals Salty waste Desalted product, concentrated antibiotics
  Platform chemical production Clarified product Concentrated waste/ alternative product
  Dyeing effluent clean, salty water BOD/COD, colour
  Tainted water Removal of odours, taste softened water waste product
  Whey salty waste water desalted whey concentrate
  Whey lactose solution whey protein concentrate

Biotage Flash 75 Radial Compression

Preparative and analytical capabilities

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The preparative and analytical capabilities section of the facility comprises a variety of bench-top analytical equipment (GC and HPLC), rotary evaporators and bench and pilot scale preparative chromatography systems.

Biotage Flash 75 Radial Compression

The 6-channel Biotage Flash 75 system is a rig mounted unit housed in the walk-in fume hood in the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • Six channel for multiple simultaneous purification runs.
  • Radially-compressed 75mm id barrels squeeze the cartridge walls to give increased efficiency by improving bed density and minimizing the chance of voiding and channeling.
  • Up to 100psi working pressure.
  • ~ 75% faster than glass columns.
  • 250ml/min flow rates
  • Reliable Gram-scale Purification: different cartridge sizes enable purification from tens of grams to hundreds of grams of crude reaction mixture.
  • Choice of 200g, 400g or 800g cartridges.
  • Flash 75 cartridges provide a direct scale-up pathway from smaller scale Biotage flash cartridges.
  • Wide range of interactive and adsorptive chromatographic media available in Flash 75 cartridge format.
  • Evaporative light scattering detector available for peak detection of non-chromophoric compounds.

Dual Duty Pasteuriser

Pre-treatment equipment

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The equipment in this section of the facility comprises pressurised thermochemical systems for the pre-treatment, at pilot scale, of both solid and liquid phase biomass based feedstocks.

Dual Duty Pasteuriser

The dual duty pasteuriser is a fixed skid housed within the secondary processing laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. The pasteuriser was designed and built specifically for the BEACON project.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • Dual duty: capable of running at 50 litres/hr or 500 litres/hour.
  • Capable of rapid pasteurisation raising feedstock temperature from 15°C to 80-90°C with twin holding coils to hold feedstock for 15 seconds.
  • Able to cool from 80°C to 20°C in one pass. 100 litre batch tank or can be linked to larger reservoir for continuous running.
  • Centrifugal feed pump (three phase 0.37kW) with stainless steel contact parts, duty 1000 l/hr at 1.5 bar g.
  • Centrifugal hot water recirculation pump (three phase 0.37kW) with stainless steel contact parts, duty 2000 l/hr at 2.0 bar g.
  • Temperature and flow sensors with data acquisition and collection using a Grant Squirrel data logger.
  • Tri-clamp connectors.

APPLICATIONS

  • Pasteurisation of liquid feedstocks to minimise of microbial loading
  • Rapid denaturing of heat labile proteins in liquid feedstocks prior to centrifugal separation.
  • Pasteurisation of post-fermentation liquors.

The integrated wet biomass processing line

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The integrated wet biomass processing line is housed in the Primary Processing Unit of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. The process line comprises a series of stainless steel conveyors that feed and/or remove wet biomass between the two processing machines, these being a 15 kW large-mesh hammer mill (forage chopper) and a 10” diameter dewatering screw press.

Vincent 10" Interrupted Flight Screw Press

The ~1.5 tonne screw press unit is mounted on a stainless steel frame at a base height of ~1.75 m to allow gravity feed of juice into two 750 litre dairy cooled holding tanks. It features an integrated control panel (mounted on the frame) through which the press and all associated wet processing line equipment are controlled.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • Estimated throughput of 1000 kg/hr wet biomass.
  • Feedstock feed via a skid mounted mobile 5m belt conveyor.
  • Press cake removal via skid mounted 3m long notched belt conveyor.
  • Constructed of T-304 stainless steel.
  • 10" diameter screw with four stages of compression featuring interrupted, reducing pitch screw flights
  • Half pitch flights n the inlet allows the press to accept variations in input volume and consistency without adjustment.
  • Drive is direct couple to hollow bore gearbox, with an IEC inverter VFD rated 7.5 kW motor, 380 volts, 50 Hz, three phase.
  • Stainless steel screen halves made of wedgewire with 0.4mm wide slots. Screens are removable from the sides to facilitate cleaning.
  • Self-adjusting discharge cone controls press cake moisture content actuated by dual air cylinders.
  • Steam or water addition possible through manifold.
  • Complies with PUWER safety regulations.
  • An identical format 4” diameter screw press mounted on a mobile skid is available for smaller scale trials.

APPLICATIONS

Screw presses come in a huge range of sizes from those capable of processing just tens of kilos an hour to ones capable of handling hundreds of tonnes per day. They are also found in a wide variety of industries including:

  • Citrus: Pulp and paper, food waste, manure
  • Grass Juicing: Coffee, cooking oil recovery, plastics recycling
  • Cellulosic ethanol: Pineapple, nutraceuticals, juice, food and beverage

Secondary separation systems - Centrifugation

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The separations functionality of the facility includes a comprehensive array of both pilot and laboratory scale continuous centrifugal and cross-flow filtration systems suitable for a wide range of Biorefining applications.

CEPA Z41 Continuous Centrifuges

Two CEPA Z41 centrifuges (pictured below) are housed within the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. These are continuous, batch type, vertical high speed clarifying centrifuges on fixed floor mountings.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • Floor mounted with 3 phase 1.1kW motors.
  • Clarifying centrifuges ideal for cell harvesting from the SIP fermentation units.
  • Typically used for 20-75 litre culture volumes.
  • Max throughput 500 litres/hr (dependant on solids content).
  • Bowl speed 20 k rpm giving 17,000 g.
  • PTFE bowl liners for easy harvest recovery, all stainless steel fluid path.
  • Cooling/heating coil fitted in both units.
  • Timed safety interlock.
  • Bench top LE version available for smaller volume trials.

APPLICATIONS

Typical of applications of CEPA continuous centrifuges are:

  • Harvesting biomass
  • Clarifying process liquids
  • Separating liquid products
  • Fractionation of human blood
  • Animal blood processing
  • Bioremediation
  • Processing of granular, crystalline and fibrous suspensions
  • Separation of filterable and non-filterable sludges

  

Pre-treatment equipment

As part of the BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU). The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The equipment in this section of the facility comprises pressurised thermochemical systems for the pre-treatment, at pilot scale, of both solid and liquid phase biomass based feedstocks.

Cambi Steam Explosion Pilot Facility

The Steam Explosion Pilot Facility is housed within the secondary processing laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. The steam explosion rig was designed and built specifically for the BEACON project for pre-treating fibrous, lignocellulosic plant material (biomass) prior to bio-conversion to fuel or chemicals using enzymes and microbes.

Technology summary

The Steam Explosion Pilot Facility uses steam to rapidly heat biomass up to a high pressure and temperature. Under high pressure the superheated steam penetrates the fibers as a liquid. The reactor is then rapidly decompressed into a flash tank, resulting in the hot liquid water reverting to steam. It is this rapid expansion that explodes the fiber in to small particles, which then enables better access for enzymes to release fermentable sugars from the plant fiber.

The volume of the steam explosion reactor is 30 L (0.2 to 2 kg of biomass) with an operating pressure of 30 barG and is capable of performing up to 25 runs a day.

APPLICATIONS

  • Hydrothermal pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass for enzyme hydrolysis to sugars.
  • Physico-chemical pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass for enzyme hydrolysis to sugars.
  • Integrated processing of biomass to products by fermentation.
  • Improving biogas yield during anaerobic digestion

How it works:

Preparative and analytical capabilities

As part of the BEACON biorefining centre of excellence project a flexible plug and play, multi-feedstock pilot processing facility has been built at the Gogerddan campus of Aberystwyth University (AU).

The unit houses a range of key equipment, facilities and associated expertise to enable both academic and industrial partners develop, trial and demonstrate scale-up processes to take laboratory research through to economically viable industrial applications.

The preparative and analytical capabilities section of the facility comprises a variety of bench-top analytical equipment (GC and HPLC), rotary evaporators and bench and pilot scale preparative chromatography systems.

Buchi R-153 20 litre Rotary Evaporator

The R-153 rotary evaporator is an industrial pilot sized bench top unit housed in the walk-in fume hood in the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth.

Technology summary:

The key features are:

  • Single phase 1kW motor.
  • 20 litre evaporating flask.
  • Powered bath lift.
  • Dual refrigeration units.
  • KNF Neuberger vacuum pump with solvent resistant fittings.
  • Secondary collector neck condenser.
  • Digital rotation, temperature and vacuum display.

APPLICATIONS

The R-153 rotorvap is used in commercial chemical and pharmaceutical units for the rapid evaporation and concentration of a variety of extraction or synthetic reaction products where the high value product is suspended in relatively large volumes of solvent. By reducing the vapour pressure under controlled vacuum and temperature the solvent can be removed, re-condensed and collected enabling faster recovery of the product and recycling of the solvent if required.

Swansea University

Facilities and capabilities at Swansea University.

The BEACON capability at Swansea University is centred on the microbiology facilities in the Institute of Life Science (ILS), the research arm of the College of Medicine at Swansea University.

Completed in 2007, with support from Welsh Government and the European Union, the ILS laboratories house state of the art facilities and equipment. The highly trained personnel have a history of industrial biotechnology experience going back 30 years, with a wealth of experience working with a range of industries including leading international pharmaceutical, agrochemical, chemical and food industries as well as local SMEs.

Aims

  • Use microbial genetics, molecular biology and chemical biology to provide microbiological routes to products from plant biomass that do not compete with food availability.
  • To evaluate performance of microorganisms producing a variety of green products and alternatives to oil based processes.
  • To promote consideration of integrative biorefinery processes with high-value co-products including for health.
  • To provide linkage of academics and businesses in BEACON and to other Welsh Government and European Union supported projects to facilitate translation of research.

Expertise / Strengths

  • Microbial genetics of yeasts, filamentous fungi and actinomycetes.
  • Heterologous protein production from a range of microbial hosts.
  • Enzymology and fermentation.
  • Molecular modelling and protein structure / activity.
  • Biological and analytical chemistry.
  • Functional genomics. 
  • International microbiology networks including funding from EU Framework and National Institutes of Health (USA).

Microbiology Facilities for BEACON at the ILS

  • State-of-the-art laboratories and expertise in microbiology.
  • Spin-in potential into the ILS with access to laboratory and office space.
  • Access to the ILS Affiliate Membership scheme, which offers a serviced hot-desk, introductions to key experts and the opportunity to book ILS meeting areas.
  • Proximity to EPSRC UK National Mass Spectrometry Centre, the ILS Clinical Research Facility and Clinical Imaging Suite, Centre for Nanohealth and supercomputing capabilities including HPC Cymru.
  • http://www.swansea.ac.uk/ils
  • http://www.p450swansea.co.uk/
  • http://www.nmsf.swan.ac.uk/

Applications

  • Opportunities exist to develop co-operative research and development and company advice on processes involving microbes and proteins.
  • Microbial natural product discovery and novel chemical entities for medicine.
  • Metabolic engineering in microbes.
  • Monooxygenase  biotransformations of lipophilic chemicals in biorefinery.

Useful links

BEACON Third Annual Conference

Key Note Address

Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Officer for Wales

Presentation:http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/JulieWilliams.pdf

5 Years of Successful Collaboration

Dr Mike Morris & Selwyn Owen, BEACON Business Development Managers

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/MorrisOwen_BEACONConference2015.pdf

Session 1: Integrated Supply Chains

Dr David Bryant, BioSuccinnovate

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/David_Bryant_.pdf

 

Dr Muyiwa Akintoye, Head of Research and Development, Quorn

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/Muyiwa_Akintoye_QUORN.pdf

 

Craig Bartlett, Director, MDF Recovery

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/Craig_Bartlett.pdf

 

Natural Product Biotechnology

Dr Yvonne Armitage, Head of Biosciences & Industrial Biotechnology, KTN Network

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/Yvonne_Armitage.pdf

Quentin Clark, Head of Sustainability, Waitrose - STARS A4B Project

Charlotte Bell, Business Interaction Team, BBSRC

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/Charlotte_Bell_BBSRC.pdf

Funding Opportunities

Tony Guile, Senior Manager for A4B Business Porgramme, Welsh Government

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/14.10_Tony_Guile_WELSH_GOVERNMENT.pdf

Ian Holmes, Horizon 2020 National Contact Point, Innovate UK

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/Ian_Holmes_INNOVATE_UK.pdf

Ana Palanca, Research and Development, Aimplas

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/Ana_Palanca,_Research_and_Development_Aimplas.pdf

Kevin Stephens, BioExtractions Wales

Presentation: http://beaconwales.org/uploads/resources/Kevin_Stephens_BIOEXTRACTIONS_WALES.pdf

2015 Delegate List

Publications

Who Could We help?

Who can we help?

BEACON offers businesses with interests in the biorefining sector access to the research, expertise and knowledge base of universities in Wales.

We can help:

  • Welsh companies in the construction, packaging and manufacturing industries by developing new biocomposite materials
  • The Welsh bioscience industry – for example, developing new microbial or enzyme systems and technologies for the processing of biomass
  • The chemical industry in Wales by providing new sources of ‘green’ chemicals
  • Fuel producers by offering ‘green’ fuels, impacting on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and reducing carbon emissions
  • Rural communities by applying biorefinery technology to the processing of non-food crops

This encompasses a huge range of businesses in areas as diverse as:

  • Agrochemicals
  • Bio Fuels
  • Coatings and Adhesives
  • Cosmetics and Personal
  • Care
  • Essential Oils
  • Lubricants
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Speciality Polymers
  • Surfactants
  • Water and Effluent Treatment

External Events

BEACON Events

BEACON Team

Contact

If you require further information please contact one of our business development managers:

North and Mid Wales

     Selwyn Owen 

     +44 (0) 1970 823 045

     +44 (0) 7871 153 947


     SelwynOwen@beaconwales.org

 

 

South and Mid Wales

     Dr Mike Morris

     +44 (0)1970 823 079

     +44 (0) 7866 676 380


     MikeMorris@beaconwales.org

 

 

General Enquiries

E-mail: info@beaconwales.org

Telephone: +44 (0) 1970 823041

 

The BEACON Office

Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS),
Aberystwyth University,
Gogerddan,
Aberystwyth,
Ceredigion,
SY23 3EB

Mission Statement

BEACON will build integrated ‘Green Supply Chains’ with a focus on developing new routes to  functional, cost competitive products using biomass rather than oil. 

Our intention is to understand and engage with businesses so we cultivate and then deliver ‘Green Technology Solutions’ to benefit industry across a  range of sectors.  To facilitate this we have a network of scientific expertise based at Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities with capacity to provide solutions from bench to demonstration scale.

Our aim is to enhance the embryonic green economy by applying excellent science to stimulate new job creation, inward investment and the promotion of Welsh scientific excellence at a global level.

Blog

   

Low carbon manager, Dr Judith Thornton, featured on the BBC Wales news today as she helped build the first ever miscanthus bale house near Machynlleth, Powys. Working with The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) Judith is exploring the potential to use miscanthus or Asian elephant grass as a building material.


Straw bales have been used to build houses for thousands of years, and are typically formed by stacking rows of bales on a raised footing within a timber frame, which are then lime-washed or rendered to prevent water penetration.

Miscanthus bales are now being used in similar fashion at Machynlleth to trial the bioenergy crop as a carbon-negative, green and sustainable building material. Miscanthus has excellent insulation properties and can lock in carbon, significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming. A typical house can emit as much as 50 tonnes of CO2.


Dr Thornton commented that in the future pre-fabricated panels of miscanthus could be produced for use in the construction industry, as well as loft insulation and fibreboards.


Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-41088441

Collaborating with BEACON

How is BEACON funded?

BEACON is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), part of the Welsh Government, under the Convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Who can work with BEACON?

New and existing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Convergence region of Wales can work with BEACON.

Businesses outside Wales are also eligible but your work must benefit the Convergence region in order to qualify for support.

We can also work with larger private organisations and public sector organisations i.e. local authorities, central government, government bodies and higher education institutions.

When working with BEACON you will be asked to complete a form to assess your eligibility to work with us. If you are not sure whether you qualify, contact us and we will discuss your eligibility and how we can assist you.

Which areas are in the Convergence region? 

The Convergence region for Wales covers 15 local authority areas in West Wales and the Valleys as follows:

  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Bridgend
  • Caerphilly
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Gwynedd
  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Swansea
  • Torfaen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does it cost to work with BEACON?

Working with BEACON does not require your business to make any financial contribution.

1. Events and workshops

BEACON offers workshops and other short activities. These usually last a maximum of one day, where assistance is provided to you under State Aid ‘De Minimis’ regulations.

The European Commission sets limits on the amount of assistance that can be given to organisations. There is a limit of €200,000 for all ‘De Minimis’ aid provided to any one organisation over a period of three fiscal years (ie. the current fiscal year and the two previous fiscal years). We will assess what aid you have had in the past to ensure you qualify for BEACON support.

Assistance from BEACON has a ‘De Minimis’ value of £500 for a seven hour day.

2. Collaborative Research and Development projects

These are bigger projects which can last from 1-2 weeks to 2-3 years. They will usually follow on from a short activity or initial scoping discussion.

The collaboration will be an on-going relationship between the enterprise and the research institution(s) for the period of the R&D project. We can provide free facilities and expertise; you provide contributions in kind – this is likely to take the form of activities that need doing to get the project completed.

Because these projects are collaborations, they are not subject to ‘De Minimis’ funding regulations. For collaborative research projects to run on a ‘No Aid’ basis there has to be a balanced collaboration, involving input, from both BEACON and yourselves.

If I collaborate with BEACON, who owns the Intellectual Property Rights?

All intellectual property rights (IPR) owned by you at the start of the project are retained by you. Where new intellectual property results from a collaborative research project BEACON would have an equal share in the new IPR. This would reflect the work BEACON has done on the project. We would discuss IPR with you before commencing any collaboration project to ensure all parties are in agreement. All research and development projects require a Collaboration Agreement to be signed.

Would BEACON publish the results of the research?

Where scientific information is gathered during the course of the project that is not commercially sensitive we would consult with you and seek to publish if that was appropriate.

This would usually be expected to benefit the commercial objectives of the project and raise the profile of your business.

Who will I be working with?

Within BEACON you may work with Aberystwyth, Bangor or Swansea University individually, or a combination of these institutions.  Our Business Development Managers will discuss your requirements with you, and decide which institution(s), facilities and expertise would be most appropriate in your case.

Events

Core Activities

BEACON has a number of core strategic research activities and these include initiatives focused on:

  • Understanding how to efficiently process wet biomass using mechanical and physico-chemical technologies
  • Conversion of lignocellulose biomass into biofuels
  • Conversion of wet biomass into platform chemicals and fine chemicals
  • Developing and enhancing enzymes and microbial systems for the production of products such as fine chemicals and transport fuels
  • Isolating commercially important molecules using membrane technologies and supercritical fluids
  • Production of bioplastics from biomass
  • Production of bio-based packaging from biomass
  • Developing ‘End of Life’ methodologies associated with pyrolysis and the production of biochar and bio-oil
  • Evaluation of processing routes from biomass to products and developing the associated economic modelling

Biomass

This is material derived from living organisms. In our case the main sources of biomass are from plants. Examples are perennial ryegrass, clover, miscanthus, oats, and Jerusalem artichoke. Plants convert sunlight into a variety of molecules such as cellulose, lignin and simple sugars. Our project aims to isolate these and convert them into higher value products.

Primary Processing

In many cases we cannot use the plants directly, so to improve our ability to access those key molecules and compounds, a number of processes must be used. The initial phase can use mechanical and physico-chemical approaches such as: chopping, hammering, pelleting, pyrolysis and steam explosion.

Secondary Processing

Once the initial processing has taken place we can use biological and chemical methods to convert the raw material into something with a higher value. In many cases enzymes and microorganisms will be used to help reduce complex molecules from the plants into simple building blocks such as sugars. These are then converted into e.g. chemicals using microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Methods then need to be developed to isolate those molecules. This is where technologies such as supercritical fluid extraction, centrifugation and membrane systems are used to help purify the desired products.

Conversion to:

Bioethanol, Biobutanol, Plant Oils, Antioxidants, Sorbitol…..

Products:

Many products that we see around us can be made from compounds originating from plants e.g.

  • Biocomposites
  • Bio-oil
  • Charcoal, activated charcoal
  • Emulsifiers
  • Food additives
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Plastics
  • Proteins
  • Surfactants (detergents)
  • Transport fuels

Welcome to BEACON

The BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence is a partnership between Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities, working in the field of conversion of biomass into biobased products.  Led by Aberystwyth University, it is backed with £10.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

BEACON helps Welsh businesses develop new ways of converting feedstocks (e.g. rye grass, oats, miscanthus) and waste streams into products which have applications in the pharmaceutical, chemicals, fuel and cosmetic industries.

 

BEACON will build on research already underway at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) to produce fuels from energy crops such as high-sugar grasses like rye. It will also enable Swansea University to focus on developing their expertise in using bacteria and fungi to digest, or ferment, plant matter within the bio-refining process.

Bangor University will build on work to develop new materials from plants which can be used to develop innovative products, having recently discovered that compounds found in some local plants can be used to control problems like potato blight.

We are seeking to:

  • Establish links between the business community and academia within Wales
  • Develop new products and processes that will support economic growth
  • Create highly skilled jobs in the area of green biotech
  • Support inward investment
  • Promote science excellence from Wales

How can we help you?

BEACON offers businesses with interests in the biorefining sector access to the research, expertise and knowledge base of universities in Wales.
We can help:

  • Companies in the construction, packaging and manufacturing industries by developing new biocomposite materials
  • The bioscience industry – for example, developing new microbial or enzyme systems and technologies for the processing of biomass
  • The chemical industry by providing new sources of ‘green’ chemicals
  • Fuel producers by offering ‘green’ fuels, impacting on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and reducing carbon emissions
  • Rural communities by applying biorefinery technology to the processing of non-food crops

This encompasses a huge range of businesses in areas as diverse as: Agrochemicals, Bio Fuels, Coatings and Adhesives, Cosmetics and Personal, Essential Oils, Lubricants, Nutraceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, Speciality Polymers, Surfactants, Water and Effluent Treatment, for example.

The BEACON partners can undertake:

  • Formulation of new biocomposites
  • Extrusion / bioplastics
  • Novel chemistries / applications
  • Metabolic engineering of yeasts
  • Protein modelling such as new enzymes, e.g. for food industry or bioprocessing

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