Biorefineries are a part of the mix of sustainable chemical and energy production in the 21st century. However, compared with the competition from oil refineries, biorefineries are in their infancy, Biorefineries must develop to overcome a double disadvantage relative to oil refineries, which benefit from lower feedstock prices and from highly efficient processes through extensive process integration. Cereal biorefineries are leading this development, giving issues in relation to food versus fuel which must be dealt with sensitively and sensibly, but also giving synergistic opportunities, and serving as a strategic step towards ligno-cellulosic biorefineries.
The School is exploiting its unique combination of the Centre for Process Integration and the Satake Centre for Grain Process Engineering to apply and develop process integration approaches for cereal biorefineries and to identify opportunities for synergistic benefits between biorefineries and the food and feed industries. Thus, for example, biorefineries can serve to recover value from food industry wastes, while the integrated biorefinery context can allow production of novel food ingredients that would otherwise be too expensive, whilst enhancing the nutritional value of animal feed.
Please contact one of the following academic staff for further details of current research activity: Colin Webb, Peter Martin, Kostas Theodoropoulos, James Winterburn, Ferda Mavituna, Seve Pandiella, Grant Campbell.