Emerging technology cutting waste and generating clean energy

AG WG EUHundreds of millions tonnes of waste is generated in the UK every year. This leads to huge costs for businesses and households as well as causing environmental damage from methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, produced in landfill sites.

Anaerobic digestion 2The University of South Wales is working to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. At the same time it is working to produce clean sustainable energy from waste or agricultural and food industry co-products through its research activities within the Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC) and its industrial interfacing arm, the Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion (AD).

Anaerobic digestion is the conversion of biodegradable materials in sealed bioreactors in the absence of oxygen by combinations of bacteria from which a valuable biogas is produced. This biogas can be collected and used as a source of energy. The process also results in a material that can be used as a fertiliser (replacing mineral-based fertiliser) and a soil conditioner.

The research team has improved how to monitor and control the process by identifying critical microbial, biochemical and chemical parameters. They have also developed several innovative instruments and models. To support this emerging industry, the researchers worked closely with governments in the UK and internationally, and with a number of industrial and regulatory groups, to develop frameworks for best practice.

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science

The Faculty is a large multidisciplinary Faculty with strong research capacities across the subject range, and a significant number of research centres and units. It is home for three complementary schools: the School of Computing and Mathematics, the School of Engineering and the School of School of Applied Sciences.

The Faculty is host to over 120 full-time academic staff and a community of more than 150 research students. Over 80% of our research submitted in the last government research assessment exercise was judged to be of an international standard, with 5% of the Faculty's submission being recognised as world-leading. The Faculty has a proud tradition of collaboration with the commercial sector through projects supporting technology transfer and applied research work.

It has nurtured excellent industrial links, working with Fujitsu, IBM, British Telecom, Orange, Welsh Government, Network Rail, Ordnance Survey and ESRI.

The Faculty receives national recognition for its work in information security, mobile applications and services, and power and automotive systems engineering.

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