NORTHERN IRELAND'S Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute has become a key partner in the 'Supergen Bioenergy Hub’, bringing together industry, academia and other stakeholders to focus on the research challenges associated with increasing the contribution of bioenergy to the UK's environmental targets.

The Hub recently held its annual assembly at AFBI Hillsborough, where over 80 people attended from universities and research institutes across the UK. Head of AFBI’s Agri-Environmental Technologies Programme, Chris Johnston, chaired a session focussing on biomass resources in the province, as well as the potential and role of indigenous materials. Other topics discussed at the assembly included pre-treatment of feedstock, biomass conversion, energy vectors and energy systems. Delegates then toured AFBI’s research and demonstration facilities, including its renewable energy centre, anaerobic digester and nutrient management centre.

“Biomass resources are an essential part of the future circular bio-economy and our work here at AFBI is designed to integrate this production within our landscape in order to complement demands on water quality and sustainable waste water management” said Mr Johnston.