These case studies showcase just some of the wide range of companies SETN has supported and highlights the success stories and broad spectrum of work we undertake. SETN can support your business with information
and advice, sourcing funding, undertaking projects in our laboratories and offering internships. Many companies have also benefitted from an SETN Innovation Grant. More case studies can be viewed in our Archive section.
of the potential markets available for anaerobic digesters coupled to algal
Anaerobic digesters produce energy from waste products, but there is liability associated with the carbon dioxide, waste heat and waste water discharge. Algae thrive on these waste streams and have proven to produce large quantities of omega oils and protein suitable for the dairy cattle and aquaculture feed markets.Florence undertook a detailed analysis of the EU anaerobic digestion market including: size of market, key players, regulatory environments and prospective sites for the dual systems. Protein markets will be analysed including the size, price trends, impact on rural agriculture and aquaculture markets, key players, and market trends.
Scoping of a bespoke soil washing plant to complement existing soil remediation technologies
Start date: April 2011 Duration: 6 months
ERS is Scotland-based soil and groundwater contractor with expertise in a wide range of remediation techniques including bioremediation, chemical oxidation/reduction, stabilisation/solidification. ERS wish to develop expertise and capabilities in soil washing to support the above remediation techniques. In order to develop a system which offers greatest flexibility to ERS, and compliments the above techniques best, it will be necessary to interrogate data from past and current soil projects using other remediation techniques to understand when soil washing might have been appropriate to apply. Therefore, desk and laboratory analysis will be undertaken to aid in the design of a bespoke soil washing plant for the company’s future growth.
The further evaluation and development of the ability to convert crude glycerol to higher value chemicals by catalytic conversion
Start date: June 2011 Duration: 18 months
Glycat Ltd along with their project partners will undertake a technical evaluation of a novel catalytic technology. The aim is to establish the feasibility of taking a small scale proof of concept catalytic technology through to a commercial pilot scale. The patented process catalytically converts industrial waste glycerol into high added values chemicals.
This initial body of work will in combination with the wider project partners lead to significant investment in Scotland both financially and through job creation. The technology involved is attracting global interest and the early support of Glycat Ltd will ensure the technical and commercial objectives are realised.
The use of control oscillation & controlled density liquids in the segregation of mixed flaked plastics
Start date: August 2011 Duration: 3 months
Following a very brief feasibility study that showed initial promise Impact Solutions Ltd has developed this project to formally investigate the use of oscillating agitation, combined with controlled density liquids, to segregate relatively high value and high purity plastic fractions from a flaked mixed plastic produced from post-consumer waste plastic streams.
The project will investigate on a bench scale the role of oscillation speed, blade geometry, blade location, reactor loading and liquid density in looking to segregate various density fractions from a flaked mixture of post-consumer plastics. The target plastics being: PET, PVC, HDPE, MDPE, LLDPE, LDPE and PP.
The Assessment of Functionalised Silicates for the Removal of Potentially Toxic Elements from Environmental Samples
Start date: July 2011 Duration: 2 months
Jeremy Krycyszyn from the National Graduate School of Chemistry, Montpellier worked with Dr Lorraine Gibson’s team in the University of Strathclyde’s Chemistry Dept. His research focused on the adsorptive applications of mesoporous silica (AN-MCM-41) with an ultimate view of environmental and industrial applications.
Jeremy’s first body of work investigated the repeated application of the sorbent for the removal of Pb ions from water. The sorbent was regenerated multiple times using microwave digestion techniques to enable this re-application. Following on from these successful experiments, he studied the efficiency of the sorbent in a simple dynamic flow through system.
Jeremy performed his work alongside Salah Idris and Khalid Alotaibi and it is hoped that Jeremy’s project will contribute to a larger body of work that will be published in a scientific journal.
Aluminium-air Fuel cell development
Start date: June 2011 Duration: 3 months
Alexis Sancey from the National Graduate School of Chemistry, Montpellier assisted the team from Fearsomengine Ltd and Spruce Fuel Cells with the development of their Aluminium-air fuel cell. He worked in the SETN laboratories preforming specific precipitation experiments as well as undertaking desk based research into moisture and CO2 scrubbers which will be built into the prototype fuel cell.
During the electrochemical reaction the aluminium anode reacts with oxygen releasing aluminium hydroxide into the electrolyte. Alexis’ work on precipitation reactions helped to determine the optimum conditions and which seeding agents are required to effectively recover the dissolved aluminium. One of the main advantages of this fuel cell is that the aluminium hydroxide can be recycled back into aluminium.
A vehicle powered by an Al-air battery could in principle have many times the range of one driven by lead-acid with substantially lower total weight.
Evaluation of bio waste sourced nutrient flows and microbial inputs for biodynamic hydroponic growing system development
Start date: June 2011 Duration: 4 months
Guillermo Esteban from the University of Valencia undertook his internship with John Ferguson of Binn Eco Park. His work focused on two main areas. Firstly, desk based research into the current state of the hydroponic and multi-level vertical growing system markets in the UK, Europe and internationally. Secondly, he undertook targeted laboratory analysis for Binn Eco Park. The laboratory analysis focused on anaerobic digestate and rock dusts and determined the ‘typical’ nutrient status of these types of material.
Guillermo had a couple of site visits to the Eco Park which helped in his understanding of the larger project and where his work was a valuable contribution. This work will assist in developing future strategies at the Eco Park as well as assisting with the planning of early stage growth trials which are planned for 2012.
Biologically devulcanised rubber effluent: potential for reuse as an amendment for remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soils
Start date: November 2011 Duration: 6 months
Recyclatech Ltd has developed a unique devulcanisation biotechnology that enables the controlled reprocessing of used tyres into reusable rubber. The technology can represent a closed-loop process that does not produce any polluting chemical substances as both the devulcanised crumb and the spent liquor represent valuable commodities. The spent liquor contains bacteria that have been shown to be very effective in the degradation of hydrocarbons and can thus be used for bioremediation of contaminated environments (e.g. soils). The project aims to use waste liquor from a commercial devulcanised plant to assess its value in the remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soils.