Our facilities

The Biorenewables Development Centre has been set up to allow us to work on diverse biorefining projects across the bio-based supply chain, such as: breeding new types of plants; extracting valuable chemicals from waste; turning biomass into energy or finding new ingredients for cosmetic products.

We can develop methods at laboratory scale but, importantly, we can also scale up processes to demonstrate their commercial potential, typically at the 1-100 litre or 1-100 kg scale. All our facilities have been arranged in modules allowing flexibility in design of processes. Additionally, our facilities are open-access; meaning that any qualified clients or academics may use our equipment for testing and research. Get in touch if this is something you would like to discuss.

To truly encourage collaborations, we also have a number of bookable hot desks and meeting rooms for hire at our main site in Dunnington so that we can work closely with our partners.

As well as our in-house scale-up facilities described below, the BDC offers access to state-of-the-art analytical facilities in research centres based at the University of York and has an extensive network of specialist partners offering complementary services.

Please note we are currently updating our equipment to reflect some of our newer acquisitions – please get in touch if you would like to know whether we have a specific capability you are looking for. 

Fast-track breeding & Molecular analysis

Working closely with the internationally renowned CNAP, we focus high-throughput genomic technologies on improving plants and microbes for new applications. We also use molecular methodologies to investigate the microbiology of food, plant pathogens and waste.


In order to get the most out of your biorenewable materials it is often necessary to prepare them for further use. This is especially the case with biomass (incl. waste), as these often have high water content and are bulky. So, we have a dedicated range of pre-processing equipment to be able to help from start to finish with your biomass – including drying, milling, pelletising and oil pressing.


Our processing equipment allows you to move from bench-top to pilot-scale testing, and has been selected to provide enough scale for you to make commercial decisions. Biorefining and chemical processing inevitably requires separations at some point in the process, and we have a variety of equipment to do this. In addition, we also have novel demonstration equipment, including spinning cone columns, supercritical CO2 and microwave heating technologies.

Microbiology & Anaerobic Digestion

Analytical assessments

Our wide range of technology platforms allows us to explore and characterise many different features of a material, e.g. to find what is in a sample, how it behaves or whether it is toxic. Take a look at the individual machines below and get in touch to learn how these assessments could benefit your business.