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B T S @ The Porter Institute

Tuesday 9th June 2009 @ 18:15


The Porter Institute Staff

The Porter Alliance's mission is focussed on the science and engineering that will create a sustainable, plant based liquid fuels industry.

The world stands on the threshold of an energy revolution. Fossil fuel contributions to climate change, the need for greater security of energy supply and the approaching end of the oil era are driving the search for new energy sources. Over the next 50 years the world will undergo a set of energy supply transitions whose success will be measured in terms of their economic, environmental and social sustainability.

The Porter Alliance's mission is focussed on the science and engineering that will create a sustainable, plant based liquid fuels industry and is committed to the timely delivery of these technologies to the market. It is its assessment that new routes to lignocellulosic biofuels have the greatest potential for positive and sustainable economic and environmental impacts and our programme focuses on this.

The Porter Alliance is a collaboration of four research institutions with over 100 scientists committed to achieving this: Imperial College London, Rothamsted Research, the Institute for Grassland and Environmental Research and the John Innes Centre. Imperial College London is in the top 10 of world university rankings; the John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research and the Institute for Grassland and Environmental Research are world leaders in plant and microbial molecular biology, bioenergy crop research and sustainable land management.

Their skills encompass all the science and engineering that is required to develop new processes that take biomass feedstock and process and refine it into liquid fuel, chemicals, materials and energy in a sustainable manner.

The Porter Alliance will develop and deliver practical systems to convert biomass into energy, liquid fuel, chemicals and materials. Its research is guided by the following principles:

  • Research management that produces economically, environmentally and socially sustainable solutions
  • Integration of research through the entire chain of process steps to find optimal solutions in a timely fashion
  • Collaborative partnership with industry to accelerate research and development and deliver integrated systems into the market place.

In our visit to the Porter Institute we will be taking a look at the science, engineering, economics and politics of the production of liquid fuels from plants and what it might mean for all of us. We will be able to look into some of the laboratories and meet the scientists who are carrying out this crucial work. Afterwards we will be joining together for a glass of wine and a finger buffet, when there will be a discussion on the political issues influencing this work.

Venue: Tanaka