MAGLUE researchers, Dr Miao Guo and Dr Robert Holland help produce the Bioenergy Graphic Novel within the Supergen Bioenergy Hub

Launched at the Supergen Bioenergy Hub 2017 conference, Miao and Rob of Maglue were both involved in producing the Bioenergy Graphical Novel.

Posted on 12 April 2017.

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub early career researchers have come together to produce a graphic novel about bioenergy. Produced as a collaboration between the researchers and artists, the novel is aims to make the topic accessible to GCSE to university level students. Answering questions such as “what is bioenergy”, “does bioenergy compete with land for food?” and “does bioenergy lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions?”.


The Bioenergy graphic novel was designed both to encourage researchers to think about their work and what impact it might have but also to encourage the public to consider how bioenergy may be part of a low carbon energy future and also to clear up some confusion on the topic.


The novel has been printed to be handed out to industry, policymakers and school children but is also available online here. Addressing controversies around the subject of bioenergy, the novel works towards explaining the complex topic and how often the whole picture is inadequately described in the media. Also explained is why we need to find alternatives to fossil fuels and why renewables are needed for this. While bioenergy is one of the technologies, it is not the only one, and like all of the fuel sources there are both positive and negative aspects  of bioenergy. The novel depicts both sides of the debate on bioenergy. While illustrating a balanced view on bioenergy today, the graphic novel also looks out into the future at possible impacts of the decisions we make today for our fuel.


Professor Patricia Thornley, Director of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and Professor of sustainable energy systems at The University of Manchester said: “Bioenergy has the potential to be an important part of the fight against climate change. *Bioenergy feedstocks* can come from a large number of sources – farming by-products, crops, sewage or even algae grown in the sea – and offers many benefits that other renewable sources of energy do not.

“However it can also be controversial, with people concerned about the impact on farmland for example. This graphic novel helps to explain how the work in the hub is tackling these issues. Publishing it in this engaging format helps us present a lot of information in a way that is much more accessible to people without the time or inclination to read dense reports.”



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