Sustainable inventions win scale-up funding boost

Eight cutting-edge technologies, with the potential to save energy, maximise resource efficiency and cut carbon emissions, have won funding for UK industry trials.

These winners are the third phase of the BEIS Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) programme, which helps innovators scale up technology for industrial use. 

Phase 3 winners range from a company recovering heat as part of the brewing beer process to another resurfacing roads by recycling old road surfaces in situ. 

Energy and climate minister Graham Stuart said:

“Industrial decarbonisation is essential to delivering green growth and jobs. I am delighted today to award more than £3.6 million of government funding across eight pioneering projects who are developing the technologies of the future.

“As our Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) programme shows, the UK is home to world-class innovators who are finding vital solutions to cutting industrial emissions.”

The IEEA is funded by BEIS, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It is managed by the Carbon Trust in partnership with Jacobs and Innovate UK KTN.
The Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator is funded by BEIS £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

Paul McKinney, Associate Director and manager of the IEEA for the Carbon Trust said:

“Innovation in technology to reduce emissions, energy and waste – especially in the industrial sector – is critical for the transition to Net Zero. Unfortunately, scaling new solutions for industrial use can be challenging as they can be viewed as risky. 
“The IEEA provides an important bridge by providing evidence that they can work in operational environments, increasing confidence and accelerating the uptake of new efficient technologies. Many of the accelerator’s first projects are now being commercialised, promising to deliver significant efficiency savings in their industries. We look forward to seeing more of the same from this cohort of projects.”

During Phases 1 and 2 the IEEA supported the demonstration of 16 new energy efficiency process technologies at industrial scale.

Combined, these projects have the potential to save 40.5TWh of energy by 2031, enough cumulative savings to power 11 million1 UK homes for a year.

The successful Phase 3 projects are:

  1. Colas is investigating in-situ cold road re-construction and recycling techniques for UK highways to further lower emissions. This technique is expected to allow 100% recycling of an existing highway surface.
  2. Futraheat is working with Hepworth Brewery, using a heat pump to recover heat normally wasted when brewing beer, and then return this to the process. This is expected to reduce energy consumption by up to 80%.
  3. Royal HaskoningDHV’s Ephyra® innovative anaerobic digestion technology optimises wastewater sludge treatment using a unique plant configuration and artificial intelligence. This technology is expected to improve the efficiency of conversion of waste materials into biogas by up to 20% whilst reducing GHG emissions. It is being demonstrated at a United Utilities Waste Water Treatment Works. 
  4. Smelly, contaminated plastic is hard to recycle. Luxus and TRC have developed odour-extracting technologies which are expected to enable household plastic waste to be recycled into higher value products.
  5. Matrix Moulding Systems is developing an improved way to form extruded plastic products using ultrasonic technology at Polypipe. This project is building on a previous IEEA project which saved up to 34% of energy and increased injection moulding machine productivity.  
  6. PyroGenesys is planning to install a biomass converter at Glasgow’s Tennent Caledonian Breweries. This is expected to convert waste grain and hops from brewing into heat, bio-oil and glucose.
  7. Stoli Chem is working with Robinson Brothers to end inefficient, batch processing of chemicals. To halve the costs and energy consumption with continuous manufacturing.
  8. 4T2 Sensors have developed a sensor to detect when pipes at drink factories need to be cleaned. This is being installed at a Diageo plc manufacturing plant to reduce the energy and water needed for cleaning.  

The IEEA contributions will be between £150,000 and £1 million per project, typically providing around 40-60% funding for each project, with the remainder to be funded by the successful applicant(s).

The IEEA was launched in 2017 and has awarded £8.1m throughout Phases 1 and 2 and a further £3.6m through Phase 3. Combined, the three Phases of the BEIS IEEA have leveraged £10.2m from private sector funding to support 24 projects.  

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