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Glamorgan Builds on Biofuel Expertise

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The University of Glamorgan is celebrating after being awarded £630,000 to develop its research into biological fuel cells.

The fund is part of a £3.3million, four year grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to the SUPERGEN programme, a flagship initiative to help the UK meet its emissions targets through a radical improvement in sustainable power generation and supply. Glamorgan is one of eight UK universities involved in the project along with the universities of Surrey, Oxford, Glasgow, Newcastle, UCL, East Anglia and West of England.

The work at Glamorgan`s Sustainable Environment Research Centre is looking at how microbial fuel cells can be made to simultaneously treat wastes such as sewage, and generate electricity. Dr Giuliano Premier, an Engineer in the Faculty of Advanced Technology, who leads the University of Glamorgan’s work on SUPERGEN said, “This is excellent news for all involved in the project. Over the past four years our research has led to a better understanding of how biological fuel cells could be scaled-up. This further funding will enable us to investigate the optimisation of microbial biological fuel cells, through an increased understanding of natural processes and how they may be encouraged and enhanced”.

The money will be used to fund a post-doctorate post, three PhD studentships, and new equipment. This interdisciplinary, cross-faculty research will be carried out at the University’s new state-of-the-art science laboratories in the Faculty of Health, Sport and Science which will be officially opened in February 2010.

The University of Glamorgan also undertakes research into various aspects of producing and using hydrogen as a fuel, including the critical issues of storage and use in fuel cells, and is home to a Renewable Hydrogen Research and Demonstration Centre at Baglan Bay.

Source: The University of Glamorgan

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