Bioreactor for energy-efficient biofuels wins award

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A researcher from Sheffield University has scooped a national award for leading a team of scientists that has created an innovative device that will make the production of alternative biofuels more energy efficient.

Prof William Zimmerman, from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Sheffield University, was awarded the Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation after leading a team that has adapted a unique bioreactor for use in the production of alternative renewable fuels.

The approach is currently being tested with researchers from Suprafilt in Rochdale on industrial stack gases. The team is also currently testing the application of the device with Yorkshire Water.

The Brian Mercer Award for Innovation provides funding of up to £250,000 for researchers to develop an already proven concept of prototype into a near-market product that can be commercially exploited.

The award, established in 2001 by a bequest from the late Brian Mercer OBE FRS, was presented to Dr Zimmerman on 14 October at the Royal Society.

The air-lift loop bioreactor produces micro-bubbles to reduce the energy usage in biochemical processes. Click here to read more.