Bioenergy is a highly variable energy source feedstock of differing properties (such as perennial biomass, agricultural residues and micro and macroalgae), pre-processing technologies (such as torrefaction), conventional conversion technologies (such as co-firing) and advanced conversion processes including thermochemical and biological technologies. These processes can produce a variety of energy carriers and have the possibility to produce negative emissions with the integration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. It is widely recognised that bioenergy has an important role if the UK is to reach its low carbon objectives by 2050. Having a supply of people with the appropriate skills and knowledge in this area is critical to ensuring future capability in this sector.
Proposals are invited for focused centres applying under this priority area only. The focus of proposals should be mostly in EPSRC remit, however, multidisciplinary bids that include biological conversion of feedstocks to energy vectors are encouraged. Proposals are expected to include industry involvement. It is up to the applicant to justify the level of industry involvement in their proposal. In order to link excellence in training with excellence in research, proposals are expected to link with the existing large research investments in this area made by EPSRC, such as the Sustainable power generation and supply (SUPERGEN) Bioenergy Hub. In addition, appropriate links should be made with wider Research Council UK programmes, for example, the BBSRC supported BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre programmes, and environmental research supported by NERC. Applicants are expected to provide details in their proposal as to how they propose to do this.
Any centre and its students are also expected to network with others addressing the energy challenge through the Energy Centres for Doctoral Training network, appropriate resources should be requested to enable this.