Biomaterials and biorefining

Area of Expertise:

AFBI supports work on the characterisation and quality assessment of plant / bio-materials and their derivatives.


Testing plant based materials
AFBI's Biomaterials and Microscopy Section covers a wide range of disciplines with particular emphasis on the characterisation and quality assessment of plant / biomaterials and their derivatives.

Areas of interest

Typical work areas cover surface investigation, physical, chemical, microbiological and instrumental analysis of biological materials, allied with chemometric modelling and data analysis. Protocols using vis-Near Infrared Spectroscopy and Thermogravimetric Analysis have been developed as quality assessment tools for biomaterials. The laboratory carries out academic research on behalf of AFBI and DARD and also offers services to industry.


Electron micrograph of pollen

The laboratory offers the following resources:

  • Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM)
  • Energy Dispersive X-Ray Microanalysis (EDX)
  • Light & Ultra-Violet (UV) Microscopy
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS)
  • Thermal Analysis (TG-MS)
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Bomb Calorimetry
  • Elemental Analysis
  • Wet Chemistry
  • Physical Testing Methods
  • Composting of plant materials
  • Pilot scale screw press for forage de-watering
  • Microfluidiser
  • Particle Size Analysis (DLS)

For more information contact: Plant biostimulants group