University of Manchester biofuels researcher finalist at New Energy Awards 2012Monday, April 2nd, 2012
Dr Mark Ashe from the Faculty of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester was nominated as one of four finalists, and the only University academic, for the Innovator of the Year category at the annual New Energy Awards 2012 held at the Science Museum in London on the 29th March. Now in their fifth year, the New Energy Awards recognise and reward only the best individuals and companies committed to alternative sources of energy. Winner of the category was Nujira, a company which delivers power efficient 3G/4G wireless transmitters.
Dr Ashe is currently carrying out UMIP funded Proof-of-Principle research towards the development of genetically modified yeast which are optimised for the production of butanol. Increasing concerns over the future supply of fossil fuels, together with an increased awareness of environmental issues associated with the use of these non-renewable fuels has led to growing interest in to the development of biofuels. Biobutanol is similar to gasoline and so has a number of advantages over currently used renewable fuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel.
Dr Ashe comments: “ I am delighted to have been nominated as one of the runners-up in this prestigious award amongst some very stiff competition from established and highly respected companies in the new energy sector. Butanol biofuels are an exciting alternative green fuel; through my research I am hoping to provide a low cost solution to improving the production process such that on an industrial scale biobutanol can become a viable and economical alternative to traditional gasoline.”