New national thermal technologies innovation centre in Teesside opens for business
A collaboration between the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Tata Steel, the Thermal Technologies Centre opens for business today in Middlesbrough. Based at Tata Steel’s Teesside Technology Centre, the £5m centre provides an open access facility which will pioneer new ways of turning materials such as biomass into high grade fuels and energy.
The facility, which is unique in the UK and one of only a few in the world, provides world-leading expertise, assets and capabilities to enable thermal processing businesses to innovate new products and processes. It brings together the thermal processing skills of Tata Steel and the technology innovation capability of CPI.
The new centre strengthens the UK’s international competitiveness in developing products and processes for the process, energy, construction and materials, metallurgical and recycling and reclamation sectors. The Thermal Technologies Centre currently offers two demonstration-scale assets: a multi-mode gasifier and a batch pyrolyser. These enable the processing of biomass or other alternative feedstocks, plus end-of-use materials, to produce energy and low-carbon fuels. These demonstration-scale assets are supported by laboratory-scale facilities, as well as a comprehensive analytical capability.
In addition to laboratory and demonstration-scale assets, the Thermal Technologies Centre offers services for customers seeking to investigate, develop and scale up thermal products and processes.
Gareth Fletcher, Director of the Thermal Technologies Centre, said: “The Thermal Technologies Centre is an exciting new development which will contribute to the strengthening of the UK’s competitiveness by supporting the development of new products and processes, and enabling the translation of innovation into commercial activity. It will permit the thermal processing industries to increase manufacturing efficiency, reduce energy consumption, lower reliance on raw materials and support the development of the UK’s low carbon economy.”
Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler, MD and CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “This centre will give us the opportunity to work with like-minded organisations that are embracing the challenge of reducing manufacturers’ carbon footprint and their impact on the environment.
“It will be open to companies and researchers from around the world and will help strengthen Teesside’s globally competitive process industries. This collaboration reflects the strong commitment Tata Steel has both to the Teesside region, where we continue to employ 1,500 people, and to research and development in Europe.”