News Release

Ulster & Precision Group Clears the FOG at Sustainable Ireland 2010 Awards

27th September 2010


 L-R: Dr Patrick Dunlop NIBEC; Jonathan Wallace, Director of Knowledge & Technology Transfer Faculty of Computing & Engineering; Councillor Jenny Palmer, Lisburn City Council; Alan Stringer, Head of Technical Development for Precision Group; Elaine Lackermeier - Business Development Executive, Office of Innovation

Research carried out by Ulster’s Nanotechnology & Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC) has been recognised at the prestigious Sustainable Ireland 2010 Awards.

Dunmurry based Precision Group, who has been working closely with Ulster on a waste to fuel research project, scooped first prize in the Energy & Environment Innovation category for their achievements in separating, collecting and processing wastewater into a range of sustainable commercial products.

Waste fat, oil and grease (FOG) cause major environmental problems in the drainage and sewage system.  Removing FOG from water systems costs millions of pounds in UK and Ireland each year.  There is a clear need to more effectively deal with the growing problems associated with FOG generated by both households and the commercial sector.

“The problem is that when FOG waste cools it congeals and sticks to the inner lining of pipes resulting in blockages.  Clearing the blockages has a significant environmental and financial cost.  Our research is focusing on more effective ways to remove FOG from drainage systems and the use of innovative clean technologies to convert FOG to biofuel,” says Dr Patrick Dunlop from NIBEC.

Dr Patrick Dunlop and Dr George Burke have been carrying out research for the Precision Group to explore novel mechanisms for the conversion of FOG to biofuel using environmentally friendly and sustainable processes. The initial project has been delivered as part of the Innovation Networks Programme, an initiative funded by Lisburn City Council and delivered by the University’s Office of Innovation.

"In managing Innovation Networks Programme and other similar initiatives, the Office Innovation aims to establish relationships with local companies through the delivery of bespoke short term projects with the view that these will lead to longer term mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses." said Elaine Lackermeier, Business Development Elaine Lackermeier, Business Development 

Alan Stringer from Precision Group said: “We are delighted to receive this award and we look forward to working with the University of Ulster to explore new and exciting commercial opportunities with worldwide potential.”

Jonathan Wallace Director of Knowledge & Technology Transfer for the Faculty of Computing and Engineering said: “The ‘Innovation Networks Programme’ is a best practice exemplar of industry, academia and local government coming together in strategic partnership to form the building blocks for innovation. The project with Precision Group is only the start of a long term strategic collaboration with Precision across its Group service provision.”

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