Biomass boiler will save tonnes of carbon


The University of Bradford hopes to save 500 tonnes of carbon per year with the installation of a new £325,000 biomass boiler.

The boiler, which will replace three existing gas-fired boilers on campus, is part of a new £230,000 Energy and Recycling Centre to be housed at the rear of the University’s J B Priestley Library. Its installation has been funded between the University and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Biomass boilers are fired on wood products to produce heat, rather than gas, coal or oil. Biomass is classed as a renewable energy source and is considered carbon neutral, as the modest amounts of carbon dioxide released during combustion are absorbed by trees. The University has chosen to use wood chip as opposed to wood pellet to fire the boilers, as it can be sourced locally, lowering the carbon footprint on delivering the fuel. It is estimated that the new boiler will save the University around £6,000 a year at 2008 gas prices.

Rob Bradley, Energy Officer at the University of Bradford, said - “We anticipate that the biomass plant will save around 500 tonnes of carbon per year. We are also in negotiations with a Bradford-based supplier of wood chip and we predict that the unit cost of this form of biomass will be below what the University currently pays for natural gas.

“The government has announced they will cap building-related carbon emissions - and, from 2010, large organisations like us will be legally required to buy and sell carbon to meet these mandatory targets. The biomass plant will help us achieve these targets.”

Russell Smith, Estates Manager for Engineering at the University of Bradford, said - “The University currently consumes over 47 million kilowatts of energy each year at a cost of £2.5 million - releasing around 13,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. As part of our Ecoversity programme, we are committed to managing our carbon emissions and energy consumption and we are in the process of developing some extremely challenging targets to improve on those already imposed by central Government.

“We have a number of energy management objectives which include reducing annual building-emitted CO2 and sourcing energy from green, clean or renewable sources, where possible.”

For more information about the University of Bradford’s Ecoversity programme - Click Here