Raw materials characterisation

It is often necessary to determine the physical and chemical properties of the raw materials used in a specific project at the start of the work. This typically involves specific technologies that focus in on particular properties, such as the range of chemical elements in a source of biomass or the amount of water present. We have a range of capabilities to look at different feedstock properties including various types of chromatography, water analysis, oxidative stability, nucleic acid analysis and microscopy. Using these technologies allows a detailed profile of physical and chemical properties to be generated that then determines the next steps in processing a particular type of bio-based raw material.

Learn more about Raw materials characterisation

Raw materials characterisation

Agilent 2200 TapeStation nucleic acids system

The 2200 TapeStation is ideal for the very rapid characterisation of DNA or RNA samples, including quality assessment, establishing DNA/RNA size ranges and quantification.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Analytical equipment

We have a variety of analytical equipment available at the centre.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Benchtop NMR analyser

The Benchtop NMR Analyser is based on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and allows for fast, accurate, reproducible and solvent-free measurement of oil, fat and moisture in oil seeds, seed cake and foodstuffs.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Gas chromatography

Gas chromatography (GC) is a flexible technique that allows separation and quantification of chemical substances found within a complex mixture.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

High performance liquid chromatography

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is a flexible technique that allows separation and quantification of chemical substances found within a complex mixture.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)

The Agilent 7700x ICP-MS is capable of measuring metal and non-metal elements in concentrations of parts per trillion.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Molecular analysis facilities

We have established a set of molecular analysis labs to enable a variety of genetic analysis applications to be carried out.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Microbiology facilities

Our microbiology laboratory offers a range of equipment allowing users to safely handle, store and work with a variety of aerobic and anaerobic microbes, at ACDP hazard category II level.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Oxidative stability analyser

The Metrohm Rancimat helps us determine the oxidation stability of natural fats and oils. The instrument works on the principle of passing air through a test sample at an elevated temperature, causing accelerated aging of the sample.

Read more

Raw materials characterisation

Water / liquid sample analysis

The Hache spectrophotometer offers a safe, easy and versatile system to measure various characteristics of liquid samples.

Read more

System development

Processing biomass to generate or purify specific products normally requires the development of some form of biological, chemical or physical system. This can be a genetically modified microbe or a novel technology such as a physical separation instrument. We have the facilities to allow businesses and other organisations to develop new biological and other technological systems in partnership with our technical teams. This includes state-of-the-art molecular biology and microbiology facilities as well as a Flexi Hall that provides access to plug and play utilities including steam, compressed air, vacuum and a range of water grades. Our open access facilities mean new systems can be developed at to accelerate innovation development.

Learn more about System development

System development

Fermentation facilities

We have several bioreactor systems, which allow the development and scale up of fermentation processes from 500 mL to 30 L.

Read more

System development

Flexi hall

In our process development laboratory we have a 480sqft flexible hall, if you have a piece of equipment that needs the right infrastructure and dedicated space to make it work then our flexi hall could be the right place for it.

Read more

System development

Microbiology facilities

Our microbiology laboratory offers a range of equipment allowing users to safely handle, store and work with a variety of aerobic and anaerobic microbes at ACDP hazard category II level.

Read more

System development

Molecular analysis facilities

We have established a set of molecular analysis labs to enable a variety of genetic analysis applications to be carried out.

Read more

Pre-processing

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.

Learn more about Pre-processing

Pre-processing

Macerator

The macerator is capable of reducing solids to small pieces; producing slurries and processing biomass materials with high water content.

Read more

Pre-processing

Microbiology facilities

Our microbiology laboratory offers a range of equipment allowing users to safely handle, store and work with a variety of aerobic and anaerobic microbes, at ACDP hazard category II level.

Read more

Pre-processing

Pelletising

Pelletising is the process of compressing light material into the form of a pellet. This has many advantages, mainly by reducing dust in transport and increasing the density of the material being transported.

Read more

Pre-processing

Seed processing

We have a range of pre-processing equipment to enable us to work with the interesting oils found in seed crops.

Read more

Pre-processing

Size reduction & grading

Size reduction equipment, such as a cutting mill, a hammer mill or a granulator, with capacities ranging from 4 kg/h to 100 kg/h.

Read more

Processing

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.

Learn more about Processing

Processing

Biogas facilities

Our biogas facilities enable new/potential users of anaerobic digestion (AD) and biohydrogen to characterise their feedstock to establish its suitability for production of high gas yields.

Read more

Processing

Chromatography systems

Used for purification and separation of complex organic mixtures.

Read more

Processing

Fermentation facilities

We have several bioreactor systems, which allow the development and scale up of fermentation processes from 500 mL to 30 L.

Read more

Processing

Filter drier

Our Guedu filter drier is used for separating solids and liquids from each other, before drying the products.

Read more

Processing

Gas chromatography

Gas chromatography (GC) is a flexible technique that allows separation and quantification of chemical substances found within a complex mixture.

Read more

Processing

Glass stirred tank reactors

The Buchi Kilo Suite (ATEX Rated 65 L vessel) pilot scale glass reactor suite has a 65 L capacity, capable of operating under various modes including reaction, distillation, crystallisation and extraction.

Read more

Processing

Thermochemical Equipment

Our pyrolysis microwave allows heating up organic materials in the absence of oxygen (pyrolysis) for a wide range of industrial applications such as energy and chemicals production.

Read more

Processing

Microwave hydrothermal equipment

The RoboQbo 15-4 is a Universal Process Machine capable of processing high solid loading slurries upto 30% w/w (dependent on feedstock).

Read more

Processing

Microbiology facilities

Our microbiology laboratory offers a range of equipment allowing users to safely handle, store and work with a variety of aerobic and anaerobic microbes, at ACDP hazard category II level.

Read more

Processing

QIAcube HT nucleic acid purification

Qiagen QIAcube HT is an instrument for an automated mid- to high-throughput nucleic acid purification in 96-well format using silica membrane technology.

Read more

Processing

Supercritical carbon dioxide system

Our supercritical fluid extraction system at can extract chemical compounds from biomass materials.

Read more

Downstream processing

The development of innovative bio-based products often requires a downstream processing stage, typically to separate out the chemical of interest. Following development at ‘bench-scale’ this often needs to be assessed at pilot scale – normally in the 1 – 100 litre or 1 – 100kg scale. We have a range of downstream processing technologies including various centrifuges, liquid-liquid separators, distillation instruments and filtration systems. Additional warehouse space can also be made available for larger tonne scale activities where business specific downstream processing capabilities can be set up and demonstrated as a route to investment into commercial scale plant.

Learn more about Downstream processing

Downstream processing

Analytical equipment

We have a variety of analytical equipment available at the centre.

Read more

Downstream processing

Counter current liquid-liquid separator/contactor

Our CINC counter current liquid-liquid separator allow liquid/liquid separation of two phases of differing density.

Read more

Downstream processing

Chromatography systems

Used for purification and separation of complex organic mixtures.

Read more

Downstream processing

Distillation and evaporation

Our Centritherm® (CT01-9RM) evaporator is one of our distillation units, which is particularly suitable for concentration of materials at relatively low temperatures.

Read more

Downstream processing

Flavourtech spinning cone

We have a larger version of the Centritherm evaporator, the Flavourtech Spinning Cone, capable of handling up to 1 ton/h of material. The flavourtech spinning cone is a thin-film distillation column, consisting of 21 inverted cones.

Read more

Downstream processing

Gas chromatography

Gas chromatography (GC) is a flexible technique that allows separation and quantification of chemical substances found within a complex mixture.

Read more

Downstream processing

Pilot-scale continuous centrifuges

We have two pilot scale continuous centrifuges, capable of operating (depending on feedstock) at process feedstocks rates of up to 100 L/h.

Read more

Downstream processing

Ultrafiltration and filtration

We have several filtration units available at the BDC.

Read more

Product evaluation

In the development of novel bio-based products, there is a requirement to evaluate performance of a range of physical, chemical and biological parameters to assess how the new product behaves in different environments. We have a range of capabilities to allow this evaluation to be performed including benchtop NMR to rapidly assess the properties of bio-based oils, chromatography to assess the chemical properties of products as well as Life Cycle Analysis, Techno-Economic Analysis and shelf life assessment protocols to look at product stability.

Learn more about Product evaluation

Product evaluation

Analytical equipment

We have a variety of analytical equipment available at the centre.

Read more

Product evaluation

Benchtop NMR analyser

The Benchtop NMR Analyser is based on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and allows for fast, accurate, reproducible and solvent-free measurement of oil, fat and moisture in oil seeds, seed cake and foodstuffs.

Read more

Product evaluation

Gas chromatography with autosampler capabilities

Gas chromatography (GC) is a flexible technique that allows separation and quantification of chemical substances found within a complex mixture.

Read more

Product evaluation

Gas chromatography

Gas chromatography (GC) is a flexible technique that allows separation and quantification of chemical substances found within a complex mixture.

Read more

Product evaluation

High performance liquid chromatography

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is a flexible technique that allows separation and quantification of chemical substances found within a complex mixture.

Read more

Product evaluation

Microbiology facilities

Our microbiology laboratory offers a range of equipment allowing users to safely handle, store and work with a variety of aerobic and anaerobic microbes, at ACDP hazard category II level.

Read more

Product evaluation

Oxidative stability analyser

The Metrohm Rancimat helps us determine the oxidation stability of natural fats and oils. The instrument works on the principle of passing air through a test sample at an elevated temperature, causing accelerated aging of the sample.

Read more

Product evaluation

Plant growth trials

We use plant growth trials to assess the performance of new products and processes, such as seed treatments and new bio-based fertilisers, or newly generated plant growth media incorporating bio-based materials or by-products.

Read more

Desk-based support

As well as lab-based support, we also add value through market research activity and product or customer discovery research. Many businesses see us as an extension to their own team, where we provide an extra set of ideas to help solve a process challenge or accelerate a product or service improvement. All our facilities are open-access, if you know what you want to do but don’t have the equipment to do it, then we can also arrange for you to spend time in our labs working alongside our experienced team.

Learn more about Desk-based support

Desk-based support

Communications advice

We work with bio-based businesses and projects to increase awareness of their products, processes or project.

Read more

Desk-based support

Entrepreneurial skills development

If you are an entrepreneur or a start-up in the bioeconomy, we can help you develop and commercialise your product or process.

Read more

Desk-based support

Laboratory and office access

We have state-of-the-art research and development biorefinery, pilot scale laboratory facilities and flexible office space available for hire.

Read more

Desk-based support

Market research

We add value through market research activity, new and existing product or customer discovery research.

Read more

Desk-based support

Overseas markets access

We have been part of several international projects, our expertise range from project management, communication and dissemination support to accessing our research and development knowledge and equipment.

Read more

Desk-based support

Project management

We have a vast amount of experience in managing national and international projects as well smaller one to one projects for our pre-funded support programmes aimed at regional SMEs.

Read more

Desk-based support

Regulatory scanning

As part of responsible research and innovation, we actively encourage our academic, industry partners and clients to examine the associated processes, including intellectual property as well as understanding the appropriate regulatory environment.

Read more

Desk-based support

Valorisation options appraisal

Bio-based materials including various types of waste, can be assessed to determine how they can be used to produce valuable products.

Read more

BioYorkshire

Making North Yorkshire the first carbon negative region in the UK

We are a partner in the BioYorkshire initiative. BioYorkshire will deliver a bold new green agenda to create jobs, boost the regional economy and develop sustainable solutions for some of the UK’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Find out more

Alex in the BDC lab

Producing biohydrogen for the UK transport sector

Following on from the successful Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme Phase 1 funding for the H2Boost project, we and ten other partners have successfully been awarded £5 million for a phase 2 project. This is funded by the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) that has been awarded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Find out more

Our case studies

Image of Japanese Knotweed, Credit - Pixabay

Food and drinkBio-based chemicalsOtherDesk-based support

Review of regulations and market research for novel plant protection products

Fontus Environmental Limited is an agri-tech start-up consultancy company from North Yorkshire focused on research and development projects investigating novel plant protection products and biopesticides.

Read more

gg

Bio-based chemicalsOtherDesk-based support

Turning nature into your skin's best friend, using innovative processes and traditional remedies

GinGingers gel was found to be extremely effective however they struggled to find any previous research evidence that would support claims about the vinegar’s topical benefits or official guidelines regarding safe dermal limits.

Read more

View more Case Studies

THYME_BDC_Still-10

20th September 2023

BDC wins 3 new UKRI funded projects which aim to enhance UK sustainable biomanufacturing

We have been awarded three new feasibility projects to collaborate with industry to develop and improve sustainable biomanufacturing in the UK. This joint investment is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK and overall will support 34 feasibility studies across the UK.

Read more

Oct

24

Showcasing AD Research in Yorkshire

10:00 - 11:30

Following the successful completion of the Anaerobic Digestion & Circular Economy Yorkshire project, this webinar will showcase three projects that were funded as part of the programme.

Find out more