Globally bioenergy supplies around 20% of primary energy demand, a substantial proportion of which is in very inefficient combustion units in less developed countries.

The European Commission believes that biomass could supply 2/3 of European renewable energy by 2020. However, there are concerns over competing demands for land between food crops and bioenergy crops, efficiency of bioenergy production and the ability of bioenergy to deliver genuine carbon savings when the whole production lifecycle is considered.

Capability at Manchester exists in the production and application of biofuels as well as in the analysis of the whole supply chain including sustainability of biomass supply. This is reflected in the broad diversity of research areas at the University of Manchester related to bioenergy.

At Manchester more than 60 core researchers and additional support staff are involved with research related to bioenergy. They are spread over seven different departments in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, six research groups in the Faculty of Life Sciences and three schools in the Faculty of Humanities.

Additionally, 23 research centres, groups and projects have been identified within the University conducting research related to bioenergy. Manchester co-ordinates the SUPERGEN Bioenergy hub, a major EPSRC-funded programme bringing together academic and industry partners to focus on key research challenges in the development of sustainable bioenergy.

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Our work seeks to enable the production and use of bioenergy in a sustainable manner, combining whole systems thinking with a range of relevant technical expertise.

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Prof Patricia Thornley discusses sustainable energy solutions.

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Bioenergy at Manchester

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