The Scottish Biofuel Programme has been awarded a combined £219,000 from funders Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Transport Scotland as part of a quarter of a million pound programme to continue its support to Scottish business until the end of 2015.
The Programme, which is hosted by the Biofuel Research Centre at Edinburgh Napier University, supports businesses in realising value from unavoidable organic residues by converting waste to forms of renewable energy.
It helps with raising awareness, identifying opportunities and developing networks and partnerships.
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We are pleased to contribute additional funding for the Scottish Biofuel Programme and its work this year in developing opportunities to create energy, fuel and high value products from lower value biomass.
“This work embodies the circular economy principle of keeping materials in productive use for as long as possible, which is both economically and environmentally beneficial.”
Recycling company Saica Natur UK was one of the businesses supported in the programme, where some of the waste paper they collect and sort was evaluated as a potential raw material for biofuel production.
“The assistance from the Scottish Biofuel Programme was tremendous,” said UK business development director Phil Towers. “They provided technical and financial know-how and support to test the production of advanced biofuel from our waste paper and opened up a potential brand new market opportunity.
“We at Saica Natur UK are delighted that the programme will continue to support the recycling industry with disruptive technology for new ways to grow and develop”.
Caroline Strain, head of chemical sciences, Scottish Enterprise, said: “The Scottish Biofuel Programme is an excellent example of the collaborative support that companies can access to enable them to gain value from organic co-products.
“The Programme proactively contributes to the National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology and its associated Biorefinery Roadmap which aim to help increase chemical turnover using bio-technology in Scotland to £900 million by 2025.
“This is an innovative and dynamic area and it’s our role to ensure that Scotland is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.”
An independent Economic Impact Assessment of the Scottish Biofuel Programme revealed that the gross impacts attributable to the support are estimated at £9.9m in turnover, gross value added (GVA) of £3.5m, and 17 jobs created over the Programme period from April 2012 to June 2015.
Ewan Swaffield, low carbon vehicles policy manager, Transport Scotland, said: “Scottish biofuels are important in delivering the Scottish Government’s intention to decarbonise road transport and support Scottish businesses by supplying more sustainable and locally sourced biofuels to several sectors.”
Welcoming the new funding, Professor Martin Tangney, director, Biofuel Research Centre at Edinburgh Napier University said: “Our work has been focused on sustainability, where we view industrial and agricultural biological residues as a resource and not a waste.
“The conversion of waste to forms of renewable energy fits perfectly with the zero waste and carbon reduction targets of the Scottish Government and we are delighted that we can continue the good work of the programme with this new funding.”
The programme aims to support a further 40 businesses, and are hoping to take nine of them on the journey to implementation of carbon and waste saving projects.
The picture shows chief science officer Julie Hawkins