How can Data Science potentially play a bigger role in evaluating the ESG Supply Chain?
ESG is becoming a much more important area among listed companies these days, but many companies are “green washing” – how can Big Data and AI potentially help to ensure that companies are really executing what they say along the entire supply chain?
Q1: Which microbial host strains should be developed to support large industrial scale chemical synthesis using industrial biotechnology?
Synthetic biology has the potential to transform the sustainable production of high value chemicals. However, chemical manufacture will require much higher fermentation yields and productivity than pharmaceutical products. This therefore requires industrial host strains which are robust, have GRAS status, fast growing, high turnover, appropriate transporters etc. We would like to learn more about approaches to improving industrial host strains and which advantages, disadvantages of specific microbial strains should be considered.
Q2: Enzymatic transformations are often cited as suitable mechanisms to support the decarbonisation of energy for chemical synthesis. Many of these reactions will still need to be performed at elevated temperatures (>70°C) and require downstream processing at further elevated temperatures. What technologies exist or could be suitable for the reaction engineering and low energy downstream process stages to enable renewable electricity to be used, and as an alternative to distillation?
To simplest way to decarbonise the energy required for chemical synthesis is to employ processes and unit operations which can utilise renewable electricity. Whilst enzymatic processes may provide advantages in lower process temperatures, many reactions and or downstream processing unit operations will still require temperature of > 70C. We are keen to explore what chemistry and engineering solutions (may) exist to support this decarbonisation. For example as alternative to distillation.
Q3: What technologies exist to capture CO2 (at an average output rate of ~10,000 to 20,000 tonnes pa) and convert into a precursor to a valuable feedstock such as alkylene oxides?
Many industrial processes are now moving to using solely biobased feedstocks, however many of these processes still release significant amounts of CO2. To aid with decarbonisation one possibility is to capture and reuse this CO2 in other processes. Technologies explored to date for the capture and utilisation of CO2 either require very pure CO2 waste streams or only become economically viable at high outputs rates.
How as a company can we reduce our gas heating consumption in a building that was designed to be a temporary structure but has now been running for 20 years?
How as a company can we reduce our gas heating consumption in a building that was designed to be a temporary structure but has now been running for 20 years? and How can we replace a canvas roof that is past its life expectancy with something that’s more energy efficient but keeps the buildings iconic feature?
Background to question: The building was built as part of the millennium funding projects with a view to only being open for a year. Given the success and community outreach it was decided to keep the building going through government funding and through the private side of the business, Dynamic Earth Enterprises. The building has not been upgraded on a HVAC or fabric side since opening and such doesn’t fit in with the company Earth Science Message. Both boilers are 20 years old and are starting to fail. The roof has a life expectancy of 25 years but is already showing signs of wear and tear along with us struggling to heat our top floor.
Are all offsets equal and do any of them actually work?
We have had validated offset programs in place for over 30 years in tropical parts of the World but deforestation continues apace. Is there any evidence that if all CO2 emissions were technically measured and offset using traditional means that the human race would survive?
Using satellite data, how can we use novel computer vision and machine learning methods classify the biophysical properties of the unstructured natural environment without the need for an expensive and time-consuming ground data capture campaigns?
Environment Systems offer a range of products and services, that use satellite imagery and other spatial data, to monitor and better understand the natural environmental.
Typically, we use classification approaches, drawn from machine learning (e.g. segmentation, rule bases, random forests), to categorise these datasets, and monitor change over time. These approaches often require detailed and expensive ground data truthing data, that can a barrier to update in some cases.
To make the environmental benefits of satellite derived products more accessible, we are interested to learn if there are new approaches to computer vision and machine learning that would allow us to reduce our reliance on training data, therefore negate the need for an expensive and time-consuming ground data capture campaigns.
What is the Carbon Footprint of polystyrene fish boxes and what can they be further used for after the fish has been emptied out of them, what alternatives are there to these single use items and what are the Carbon Footprints of the alternative options?
Our company generates over 300 tonnes of polystyrene waste each year with growing pressure from high street customers and consumers to stop using it what can we do better from a sustainability and financial standpoint.
How does research at UofEd quantify sustainability?
We are interested in all aspects of bio-based sustainability for manufacturing. A common question from IBioIC member companies in recent months has been around quantification of impacts especially during development of a new product or process.
How could we make the production of our Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers more environmentally friendly?
For our deep water velocity logs we use titanium as that is durable for those conditions but recycling of this material is not very feasible – What could be done to make this feasible or provide an alternative material? We use lead for our transducer heads – is there an alternative material that can be used for these acoustic instruments? What new battery options might be coming onto the commercial market to improve duration and more environmentally friendly for smaller systems such as Nortek ADCP’s?
Q1: How can we as a global company reduce our carbon footprint, especially when it comes to shipping?
As a global company based is Norway we ship our instruments across the globe – most of the time these are on tight schedules so can’t be shipped in bulk. We have to source the materials to produce our instruments from various countries to the factory in Norway just to be shipped out. What alternative protective packing materials could be used – currently use foam in packaging? Courier companies such as UPS offer carbon neutral shipping but what goes into this?
Q2: Where are there data gaps in offshore wind and other upcoming marine industries (i.e. Hydrogen)?
Nortek offer instruments that measure current and wave activity in various environments from estuarine, coastal and offshore. What data do offshore energy and other new marine industries value most? What data would they like to access that they currently cannot?
What is the optimum size of floating turbine and supporting structure for Scottish waters?
Looking at the future of floating wind for Scotland, is there a limit or an optimum size to both the turbines and the structures on which they’re based for the waters around the country?
What is the optimum size of battery storage for co-location with renewable energy generation, and how can revenue certainty be improved?
Crucial to the growth of cost effective battery storage is the size, economies of scale and reliable market conditions. What does this look like for Scotland?
How does the policy environment need to change in order to encourage more energy storage projects in Scotland?
Where can companies, institutions and government concentrate efforts to increase money going into battery storage?
What are the current and future opportunities for utilising plant-derived digestate?
Biogas from AD is a low carbon fuel that the Whisky sector relies on. Operationally, this can be in the form of running an AD plant or supplying draff/pot ale to externally owned AD plant. We are interested in getting more from digestate, whether that’s improving its properties as a fertiliser, or using it for something completely different.
What opportunities exist for exploiting academic expertise in Low Carbon material solutions for traditional Scottish buildings?
A significant proportion of our Scottish public Estate & Buildings are traditional stone construction with carbon footprint challenges. Significant progress is being made in the adoption of sustainable building materials/practices in construction using re-cycled brick, timber, glass and emerging plastic based technologies but less so in the adaption and re-use of stone.
What options exist for sustainable routes to the manufacture of fluoroaromatic compounds?
Victrex manufactures and purchases a range of fluoroaromatic compounds at kilotonne scale which are used as monomers in our polyaryletherketone polymers. The supply chains for these chemicals are currently all fossil-fuel based. We are interested in exploring the possibility of moving to more sustainable feedstocks.