The Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) at the University of York will integrate genetics with green chemistry and processing techniques to support industry in developing new manufacturing technologies for these materials, which will be turned into high value products.

The work will effectively offer companies and academia a way to test, develop and scale up biorefining processes through the use of molecular breeding.

This creates the potential to source high value chemicals from plants by developing novel crops, or improving those already in use.

The BDC has already initiated a range of projects including work on a project to help a small company turn industrial waste into valuable chemicals, with the help of specially-developed strains of the mould, Aspergillus.5

Business Secretary Vince Cable has lent his backing the centre with £2.5m funding from BIS, and said the centre would strengthen the UK’s position as a leader in the exploitation of high-value chemicals from renewable sources.

Maxine Perella

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