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Patricia Thornley - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Patricia Thornley

Director of EBRI, Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute | Aston University


Patricia Thornley works in assessing the environmental, economic and social impacts of renewable energy technologies.







Patricia Thornley - Bioenergy Role in Electricity Production and Sustainability Issues - Weekend 4 Prof Patricia Thornley Introduction from Patricia Thornley




Patricia Thornley works in assessing the environmental, economic and social imapcts of renewable energy technologies, particularly bioenergy systems. She has experience of working in the commercial sector in power generation as well as in academia. She leads the EPSRC SUPERGEN Bioenergy hub (www.supergen-bioenergy.net) and is editor-in-chief of the Elsevier journal Biomass and Bioenergy.

Areas of Expertise (5)


Supergen Project

Climate Change


Environmental Sciences

Education (2)

University of Ulster: DPhil, Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology 1996

Durham University: BSc, Physics 1993

Affiliations (1)

  • Biomass & Bioenergy : Editor-in-Chief

Media Appearances (4)

‘What is needed to tackle the climate emergency, and who is responsible?’

The Conversation  online


An emergency is a situation where we need to act fast in order to prevent catastrophic consequences – like rushing to stop a child running in front of a bus, mobilising fire fighters to put out a forest fire, or intercepting a lorry smuggling explosives for a planned attack.

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Aim to drastically cut waste burned at Tyseley incinerator - dubbed city's 'largest CO2 emitter'

Birmingham Live  online


Report co-author Professor Patricia Thornley, director of the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University said the minimum timescale for when this could happen would be five years.

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Plants Will Get Boost From Rising CO2 Emissions but Only for Another 80 Years, Scientists Warn

Newsweek  online


Professor Patricia Thornley, director of the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at the U.K.'s Aston University, who did not work on the research, told Newsweek: "One of the issues raised in the report is that the key constraint on achieving this enhanced biomass growth is the availability of nitrogen (primarily) and phosphorus (secondary).

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India’s bold move towards emission control

Power Technology  online


Nevertheless, as Patricia Thornley, director of European Bioenergy Research Industry at Aston University in the UK, points out, co-firing is a quick and relatively painless way to reduce coal-fired power plant emissions.

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Articles (5)

Environmental trade-offs associated with bioenergy from agri-residues in sub-tropical regions: A case study of the Colombian coffee sector

Biomass and Bioenergy

The coffee sector generates vast amounts of residues along its value chain. Crop residues, like coffee stems, are burned in the field, used for domestic cooking or coffee drying in processing plants having significant environmental and health implication to rural communities. This research investigated the environmental impacts of replacing current practices with modern bioenergy applications in the Colombian coffee sector.

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(Stop) burning for biogas. Enabling positive sustainability trade-offs with business models for biogas from rice straw

Biomass and Bioenergy

Rice is the main agricultural crop in the Philippines and central to the country's food security. One main challenge of rice farming is the management of the straw after harvest. With limited uses, the rice straw is currently burned or in some cases incorporated with significant environmental impacts. However, it can be an important feedstock for sustainable bioenergy and support energy access in the Philippines.

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A review of the role of bioenergy modelling in renewable energy research & policy development

Biomass and Bioenergy

Transition towards renewable low carbon energy is a fundamental element of climate change mitigation, energy from biomass technologies are targeted within many country's decarbonisation strategies. Decision makers globally face many challenges developing strategies to drive this transition; models are increasingly used to road-test policy interventions before their implemented. A Bioenergy Literature Database was developed of 124,285 papers published 2000–2018.

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The potential of coffee stems gasification to provide bioenergy for coffee farms: a case study in the Colombian coffee sector

Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

The coffee industry constitutes an important part of the global economy. Developing countries produce over 90% of world coffee production, generating incomes for around 25 million smallholder farmers. The scale of this industry poses a challenge with the generation of residues along with the coffee cultivation and processing chain. Coffee stems, obtained after pruning of coffee trees, are one of those abundant and untapped resources in the coffee supply chain.

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Understanding the timing and variation of greenhouse gas emissions of forest bioenergy systems

Biomass and Bioenergy

Forest-based bioenergy plays an important role in climate mitigation for limiting global mean temperature increase to below 2 °C. The greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of three forest-based bioenergy systems from the USA, Canada and Spain supplying wood pellets for electricity in the UK were evaluated by conducting lifecycle assessments and forest carbon modelling of the three forest systems.

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