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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 16:32 GMT
Biofuel centre launched in city
Napier PhD student, Julie Watson using the BRC fermentor
Napier PhD student, Julie Watson, tries out the BRC fermentor
The first biofuel research centre of its kind in the UK to find sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based energy has been set up in Edinburgh.

The Biofuel Research Centre (BRC) is to develop second-generation biofuel from a range of non-food crops and waste.

The Napier University centre is designed to act as a portal between industry, government, academia and the public.

BRC's Dr Martin Tangney has received 500,000 to study biofuel.

Dr Tangney said: "We are delighted with the support we have already been given. A number of influencers are attending the launch, many of whom have already engaged with the centre."

The Scottish Government believes renewable energy will give us a vibrant energy sector that makes a significant contribution to Scotland's future wealth and prosperity
Jim Mathers
Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism

The UK Road Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) requires 5% of all UK fuel sold on UK forecourts to come from a renewable source by 2010, while the EU Biofuels Directive sets "reference values" of a 5.75% market share for biofuel.

David Cairns, Minister of State at the Scotland Office, said: "While the global production of biofuels is doubling every few years, there have been negative impacts on biodiversity, food prices and carbon emissions as land has been inappropriately cleared to plant first-generation crops.

"There are already innovative projects in Scotland trialling biofuels from more sustainable sources than food crops such as waste material, but of course more research and development needs to be done."

Climate change

Jim Mathers, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism also showed his support for the project.

He said: "The Scottish Government believes renewable energy will give us a vibrant energy sector that makes a significant contribution to Scotland's future wealth and prosperity.

"We are also exploring how we can best exploit technologies to make a real, sustainable and cost-effective contribution to tackling climate change, including the role of biofuels."

Professor Joan Stringer, principal and vice-chancellor of Napier University, said: "Sustainability is a hugely relevant issue and one of Napier's highest priorities.

"The opening of this centre not only shows our commitment to this, but also our dedication to lead new areas of research, in line with our vision to become Scotland's best modern university."

SEE ALSO
'More energy crop' could be grown
15 Nov 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Huge bio-diesel plant to go ahead
31 Oct 07 |  Tayside and Central

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