Turning waste into wealth: Lords committee investigates how current UK technology performs

14 November 2013


The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will next Tuesday, 19 November, hear from industry experts on how the UK is geared up for transforming waste into higher value products.

The Committee is exploring the potential to create a multi-million pound economy from waste, using by-products from agriculture, industry and households. Next week’s evidence session will explore in more detail the state of UK technology and how it is enabling the transformation of waste into both low-value and high-value products.

In two sessions, the Committee will first take a look at the process of anaerobic digestion, and what its potential and its limitations are. The Lords will hear evidence from Dr Prab Mistry, Director and Consultant, EHV Engineering; Dr David Nelson, Field Director, Branston Ltd; and Mr Richard Barker, CEO, Biogen.

The session starts at 10.40 and questions the Committee will ask include:

  • What are the advantages of using anaerobic digestion for disposal of bio-waste?
  • Which factors affect the economic viability of anaerobic digestion?
  • What would success look like and what needs to be done to make it happen?
  • What research and technology development is currently underway?

In the second session of the morning the Committee will hear how technology can lead to higher value products being generated from waste. They will hear from Professor Iain Hunter, Executive Dean of Science at Strathclyde University, and Professor of Molecular Microbiology; Dr Ian Fotheringham, Co-Founder and President, Ingenza Ltd; and Dr Edward Green, Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor, Green Biologics.

This second session of the morning starts at 11.40 and questions the Committee will ask include:

  • What research is underway to enable waste to be transformed into high-value products?
  • What breakthrough technologies will emerge and over what timescale?
  • What can be done to accelerate progress and increase impact?
  • Are other countries ahead of us and if so, why?


The evidence sessions will take place on Tuesday 19 November starting at 10.40am in Committee Room 4.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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