Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy, TCBB

The Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (TCBB) is one of a number of such centres established and led by industry, and initially funded by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA Ireland.

The TCBB is co-hosted by 3 Irish universities, NUI Galway, University of Limerick, and University College Dublin. The TCBB also engages with other Irish universities such as Trinity College, Dublin.

The TCBB develops key research programmes in partnership with its industry members. These research programmes are targeted towards commercial deployment of results within a 2-3 year period, and accordingly are intended to have an economic impact in the near term, ensuring that Ireland is at the forefront of technological development in the bioindustry.

Key Goals

The Vision of the Technology Centre for Bio‐refining and Bio‐energy is to provide cutting edge research and development outputs to support a sustainable and competitive Irish biomass (bioenergy and bioproducts) industry.
The key goals for the Technology Centre are:

  • To marry the excellent capabilities within Irish third level institutions with those of its industrial partners to develop economic and sustainable bio-processes for the conversion of biomass feedstocks to bio-energy, bio-plastics, and other industrial and consumer bio-products.

  • To facilitate and support the deployment of industrial bio-processes in the near term, with a view to enhancing Ireland’s competitiveness and economic performance.

  • To ensure that the development of Ireland’s biomass industry is integrated, consistent and keeping pace with the best European and international programmes for the economic development of sustainable bio-processing.

  • To develop intellectual property on second generation feedstocks and bio-processing technologies that enables participating companies to provide lowest cost competitive bio-energy (i.e., transport fuel and electricity), valuable co-products and technology licenses to the worldwide market.

  • To develop pilot scale facilities that can demonstrate high-potential bio processes for the production of attractive bio-energy and bio-products, and can act as a training centre for industry operatives and academic students involved in the bio-industry.

  • To act as an impartial advisor to government and other policy bodies enabling the development and deployment of informed public policy that supports the development of the bio-industry.

The TCBB research programme is concentrating on developing efficient industrial processes that will make the bio-industry a reality, and will integrate these activities with the feedstock research and development programmes of its specialist affiliates, and with product development programmes of its industry members, to establish a complete end-to-end value chain for the Irish bio-industry.

    This research theme is investigating high-potential, next-generation feedstocks, such as grass and algae, that do not compete with food, and can achieve a higher energy balance and a greater potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to current bioenergy and biorefinery feedstocks. (A feedstock is the raw material source used in a biorefining process to produce bioenergy and co‐products.)

    This research programme will examine the options for various conversion technologies, in particular enzymatic, biotechnological and thermochemical techniques, to unlock the energy and co‐product potential from feedstocks with a particular relevance to Ireland.

  3. COMMERCIALISATION and Implementation.
    The onward commersialisation of the platform chemicals created from the initial feedstocks to finished products for specific markets.