Bioenergy Group

Our research group includes experts in biomass and waste conversion technologies specialising in the production of energy and low carbon fuels from waste.

We have established a joint research platform with the Fraunhofer Institute to develop thermo-catalytic reforming (TCR), and technologies for waste processing, producing biodiesel; renewable gasoline; renewable aviation fuel; and biohydrogen.  The first TCR reactor is now based at the Tyseley Energy Park as part of the ERA thermal energy project. The bioenergy group is proud to be a developing partner for Tysely Energy Park, working to create a powerful and exiting new distributed energy.

University of Birmingham and Fraunhofer research platform launc


The thermo-catalytic reforming TCR® produces renewable liquid fuels from waste biomass, which can replace fossil fuels. These fuels comply with European standards for gasoline and diesel EN228 and EN590, which have already been demonstrated on a pilot scale.

The TCR® technology converts a broad range of residual biomass into three main products: H2-rich synthesis gas, biochar and liquid bio-oil, which can be upgraded. By high pressure hydro-deoxygenation HDO and conventional refining processes, a diesel or petrol equivalent is created in the distillation and is ready to be used directly in internal combustion engines.
The TCR® technology opens up long-term opportunities to convert organic waste into renewable fuels and to directly implement these fuels into existing petroleum infrastructure.TCR diagram showing process of turning feedstock into syngas and oil

Current research projects

  • Conversion of Biomass to Methyl Furans as a novel engine fuel (EPSRC Project)
  • Conversion of sewage sludge using TCR into a fertiliser (Rutherford Fund)
  • Sustainable Jet Fuel from Flexible Waste Biomass H2020 Project (flexJET)
  • Synthetic Fuels and Green Hydrogen from organic waste biomass (sewage sludge) H2020 Project (To-Syn-Fuel)
  • Mobile TCR Demonstrator (T-ERA Project)
  • Demonstration of Catalytic Properties of Char from Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR) of Deinking Sludge (EPSRC Project)

Related links


Prof. Andreas Hornung