More than 1,000 West Midland jobs could be created through a new Aston University eco-friendly product – with the aid of sewage and other waste.
Researchers from the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University have developed an innovative bioenergy solution that uses waste products to generate cost-effective heat and power.
Experts at the university say the initiative could help reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.
The market opportunities of the equipment – called a Pyroformer and developed by Professor Andreas Hornung of EBRI – also offer business benefits to the West Midlands region.
It is anticipated that 35 jobs will be directly safeguarded or created and over 1,000 indirect jobs created in the West Midlands as a result.
Experts say the Pyroformer overcomes many of the problems other renewable energy solutions have generated.
Tests have shown that unlike other bioenergy plants, the Pyroformer has no negative environmental or food security impacts.
It can use multiple waste sources including sewage, algae and household wastage and does not require the destruction of rainforests or the use of agricultural land for the growth of specialist bioenergy crops.
And one of its byproducts, biochar, can even be used as a fertiliser to increase crop yields.
As well as generating heat and power, the Pyroformer also dramatically reduces the amount of material sent to landfill.
Professor Andreas Hornung, Head of the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University, said: “This Pyroformer is the first of its kind in the UK and the first industrial scale plant is now up and running at Harper Adams University College before it is permanently installed on the Aston campus later this year.
“We are delighted with the tests taking place at Harper Adams which are demonstrating that this really is a low carbon, renewable and sustainable energy source.
“This is about more than energy provision. We believe this bioenergy technology could be a key stimulator of growth and jobs.”