A £25m competition is to be launched by the UK government that will enable the construction of three demonstration plants that will produce advanced biofuels from waste materials – the first of their kind in the UK.

The competition will launch with two phases: the Expressions of Interest phase which will be accepting submissions from now until the 13th February next year, before Phase 2 when the successful applications will be chosen for funding. The funding, once awarded, will be made available until 2018.”Alongside the competition, the Department for Transport has also established a Transport Energy Taskforce to consider options for supporting advanced biofuels through policy mechanisms. We are also supporting a sub target at EU level,” said Baroness Kramer, the coalition government’s Minister for Transport, who said that the capital funding will be supported significantly by private sector investment.

It is hoped that these advanced biofuels will be able to deliver greater carbon savings than those generated from the likes of traditional crops, starch, sugars or vegetable oil (first generation biofuels), without the same risks to food security or concerns over land use.

DfT Say Biofuels Essential For Combatting Carbon Emissions

The Department for Transport believes that advanced biofuels will become increasingly important in the fight to reduce carbon emissions, with complex processing techniques capable of producing a variety of fuels for road transport and aviation.

“This country has world-class research capabilities and I want the development of green technology to be part of this success story. This will not only benefit the environment but boost investment in Britain,” said Kramer.

Further benefits of advanced biofuels:

  • Contains 35% oxygen, making it significantly better for air quality and improves internal engine fuel combustion;
  • Delivers optimal performance in the fuel system and does not leave gummy deposits;
  • Ethanol biodegrades rapidly in surface water, groundwater and soil.

The UK faces many challenges in terms of meeting EU objectives as well as pressures as a result of the very real danger to the environment and specific ecosystems. It is essential that alternative fuels are explored further to reduce our reliance on traditional fossil fuels, and so it is encouraging to see the government seek to stimulate innovation in this important area of development.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Pumping Solutions, providers of high quality and energy efficient water pumps to homes and businesses in the UK.