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Research & Innovation Forum

Date: 09.00am – 17.30pm, 11 April, 2018
Venue: University of Sheffield

09.00-09.30  –  Registration and Networking

09.30-09.40  –  Welcome and introduction

  • Charlotte Morton: Chief Executive, ADBA

09.40-09.55  –  Keynote

Professor Pourkashanian will speak on energy research, particularly on the research needed in order to move AD toward a more independent future, where efficiency will make up for loss of subsidies.

  • Professor Pourkashanian: Head of University Energy Research, University of Sheffield

09.55-10.10  –  Sponsor Keynote


10.10-10.40  –  Morning Break and Exhibition

10.40-12.00  – Can we achieve 99% efficiency in biogas use?

From improved biomethane upgrading techniques to conversion of waste carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen to methane, to maximising electricity and heat outputs, what projects are out there to help improve the efficiency of biogas use? The presenters will showcase their latest research.

  • Chair: Adam Kingdon, CEO, Utonomy Limited
  • Optimising biogas upgrade units with the gradient descent method
    • Jurgen Kube: Head of Technology, Future Biogas Limited
  • Intensifying efficiencies and reducing the parasitic energy load of power to gas systems
    • Prof Sandra Esteves: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science, University of South Wales
  • TBC
  • Questions and comments from the floor

12.00-12.30  –  Putting the brakes on runaway soils

Recent estimates by Cranfield Soil scientists show soil degradation costing the UK £900 M to £1.4 B per year. Under-sowing can help with mitigating soil erosion and reduce effects of compaction as the rooting properties of the seed mix can penetrate and encourage the development of better soil structure. Nitrogen fixing plants such as vetch can also play their part in managing nutrient levels, adjusting artificial inputs and saving costs.

  • Mandy Stoker: Director, e4environment

12.30-13.30  –  Lunch and Exhibition

13.30-15.10  –  Process optimisation and monitoring

AD needs to become independent from subsidy if it wants to thrive, the most realistic way to do so will be to find new, more efficient ways to speed up the processes, whilst also trying to find more cost-effective methods. Here the speakers will introduce us to new research aimed at optimising and monitoring processes.

  • Chair. Dr David Tompkins: Head of Knowledge Exchange & Innovation, Aqua Enviro
  • Quantification of EPS and the role of PSD and EPS on dewaterability of THP digested sludge.
    • Obinna Molokwu: Research Engineer Sludge & Energy Innovation, Thames Water Utilities Limited.
  • Development of a chemical matrix pattern recognition tool in support of enhanced environment standards in AD plants
    • Prof Sandra Esteves: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science, University of South Wales
  • Two novel technologies to significantly increases both biogas quality and quantity and processing speed
    • Phil Hughes: Director EKOGEA UK Ltd
  • Calcium nitrate dosage results in improved biogas quality in anaerobic digesters
    • Professor Dr Thorsten Stoeck, Head of Ecology Department, Faculty of Biology, University of Kaiserslautern
  • Questions and comments from the floor

15.10-15.40  –  Afternoon Break and Exhibition

15.40-15.55  –  Stepping Up workshop: One year later

Last year’s workshop has been feed-in to the work of the Stepping Up project, the outputs of which will include a report on how innovation may be scaled up, and the potential reductions in environmental impact. Stepping Up has also produced a decision support tool to support policy-makers and other actors in ensuring that decisions take account of issues across the whole food-water-energy nexus, rather than any single aspect.

  • Dr Iain Soutar: Associate Research Fellow, Stepping Up, University of Exeter
  • Questions and comments from the floor

15.55-17.00  –   AD friendly packaging 

Plastic residues have been one of the single major problems for digestate quality, new techniques are finally bringing us new packaging materials, that can be degraded in AD bioreactors. Will those materials help prevent digestate contamination?

Chair: Jess Allan, Environment and Regulation Manager, ADBA
Dr John Williams, Technical & Business Development DirectorAquapak Polymers 

Other speakers to be confirmed

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