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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: Bio Energy Technology Assessment - Environmental Burden Minimisation (BETA-EBM)

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BETA-EBM is primarily a training-through-research Marie Curie Fellowship project in partnership with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India. It has a forward-looking and truly multidisciplinary scope, covering two broad components – sustainability science (urban waste management, renewable bio energy and environmental management); socio-economic transition (building resilient and self-sufficient local communities through promotion of waste- and energy-grid independence).

Project Overview

The specific project elements of BETA-EBM aim to extend the Fellow’s expertise in assessing systems scale environmental performance of small size, albeit high-tech, Anaerobic Digestion (AD) system, deemed to be rising in demand in Europe - both for urban waste management and valorisation. These are embedded in three key objectives, aspiring to demonstrate the ‘proof of concept’ through collaboration between SOTON and TERI and to facilitate skills development in evaluation of the current practice by ascertaining –

  • the environmental impact/s from process enhancement via acidification and methanation for utilising urban domestic waste as substrate in a small-scale AD system;
  • the potentials for environmental burden reduction using process enhancement;
  • the potentials for environmentally savvy, distributed AD installation for community and industrial deployment in Europe (in terms of cost-efficient installations fulfilling environmental compliance at systems scale).

The project is going to develop shared knowledge through research training and networking at an international forum. This would potentially lead to numerous pathways in addressing the underpinning environmental issues in municipal/industrial biowaste valorisation for energy self-sufficiency through assessment of a range of environmental management options and their incentivisation, thereby contributing to establishment of long term viability of AD as a sustainable solution to future waste and energy crises.

Associated research themes

Bioenergy and Organic Resources Research Group

Related research groups

Centre for Environmental Sciences
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