Impact of Maglue research at the Supergen Bioenergy Hub Conference in Manchester

The recent Supergen Bioenergy Hub Conference was attended by most of the Maglue project members. The conference held in Manchester covered the whole bioenergy research remit from cellular biology through conversion technologies to whole system scale under

Posted on 03 April 2017.

On the 22nd and 23rd March the Supergen Bioenergy Hub held an international Bioenergy conference at the Manchester conference centre funded by the EPSRC. The conference was aimed to bring together academic, industrial and policy communities to focus on sustainable bioenergy development. The two-day conference covered a range of topics with keynote speakers, presentations and poster sessions on the following aspects of bioenergy:

  • Aviation biofuels
  • Biomass resources
  • Bioproducts and biorefineries
  • Catalysis
  • Combustion
  • Development aspects
  • Emissions
  • Environment/ecosystems
  • Gasification
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Modelling
  • Novel Technologies
  • Policy
  • Pyrolysis
  • Socio-economics
  • Whole systems

The conference, organised by Prof. Patricia Thornley and her team, was kick started by keynote speakers Dr. Ralph Overend who posed the question of “Is there a role for BECCs if the carbon is needed as fuel or chemical source?” and Catherine Bremner who posed the question of “Where are the NETS (negative emission technologies) going to come from?”. These two presentations set the tone of the conference to critically consider bioenergy research. As pointed out by Dr Overend, researchers were encouraged to research their “known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns”. With such a diverse collection of expertise on bioenergy, the conference had something for everyone.

In subsequent sessions, Maglue had a large presence, particularly in the Greenhouse Gases, Environment and Whole Systems sessions. Maglue were also represented in the new format of poster presentations designed to encourage questions by including 3 minute talks. The poster presented by Prof. Gail Taylor is  available to view from here. A total of seven talks on the project, Maglue held a large presence at the conference. All of the research packages of the Maglue project were represented with many discussions starting as a consequence.


Maglue talks given at the conference:




Dr Jon McCalmont


Trace gas (N2O and CH4) flux in land-use transitions to and from agricultural grassland to Miscanthus and SRC willow

Dr Rebecca Rowe


Perennial bioenergy crop removal at commercial scales: investigating impacts on soil carbon stocks

Dr Rob Holland


Integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services into future energy scenarios – lessons learned and next steps

Dr Marta Dondini


Evaluation of the ECOSSE model for simulating soil carbon under sugarcane in Brazil

Amanda Holder


Investigating impacts on hydrology of land use change from grazed grassland to Miscanthus

Robert Matthews


Biogenic carbon emissions of ‘hot-spot’ bioenergy sources: emerging findings of the SUPERGEN Challenge project MAGLUE

Dr Miao Guo

Whole Systems

UK bioenergy system assessment: quantifying the GHG benefits of biomass imports for a sustainable future


Following the conference, the Supergen Bioenergy Hub early career network, Share, held an event at the University of Manchester. The Share event involved “toolkit” talks on 3 aspects of research carried out by early career researchers in the group. This was followed by a tour of the high voltage laboratory, where researchers were shown the equipment and how the laboratory simulate lightning. This was followed by a talk by Aiden Smith and Katie Eve on the set up of a Mendeley group for Share network members to aid the exchange of knowledge. While originally purely a reference manager, Mendeley are working with researchers to add functions such groups that facilitate discussions and work sharing.


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