Project for biomanufacturing with carbon capture gets £1.3m in funding

Article by Amanda Doyle

A PROJECT that aims to be the UK’s first-of-a-kind zero carbon loss biomanufacturing system has been awarded over £1.3m (US$1.8m) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Biomanufacturing uses biological systems to produce biomaterials and biomolecules that can be used in a range of industries including specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products. However, many of the current processes still emit large amounts of CO2.

The new project aims to create a zero-carbon loss biomanufacturing system. It will develop new sustainable biomanufacturing for aromatics, heterocyclics and other lignocellulosics products. This will be integrated with carbon capture and utilisation. The development of the project will include full life cycle analysis and the use of a digital twin.

It is led by Jin Xuan, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University, in collaboration with academic partners from Imperial College and Heriot-Watt University, and also working with several industry partners.

Xuan said: “This project looks to capture carbon dioxide and put it back into the manufacturing process and eliminate waste after the end-of-use of the product and put it back in as a feedstock.

“One important aspect is the systems thinking. We need to put the new manufacturing technology into the big industrial system and supply chain, and look at the environmental, economic and social impacts from their entire life cycle.

“It is a challenging task, but we aim to achieve it by developing a novel digital twin solution to capture the complex dynamics of such manufacturing systems over their life cycle.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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