Skip to main content

Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing


The Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing research group provide a ‘one stop shop’ for green technology expertise and application. Through our knowledge of symbiotic and green manufacturing, we will work with you to understand what damage is being done to the environment and develop materials and processes to combat this.


We support blue sky ideas projects that assist in the use of waste and sustainable materials in new product development. We have strong links with industry and government plus other relevant partners and funders, having collaborated with companies on a number of projects in the automotive, motorsport, construction, medical, luxury goods, waste management and energy sectors.

We have a strong track record in materials engineering, chemistry, economics, chemical engineering, sustainable materials and processes, polymer processing, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), environmental science and microbiology. You will benefit from our strong interdisciplinary links with other departments across the full technology supply chain, plus supporting skills such as assessing environmental footprints, supply chain management and economics.


Research Areas

Through our research, we have developed sustainable materials to provide more environmentally friendly and sustainable manufacturing processes in many different contexts.

Current research projects include:

  • Cleaning Land for Wealth is an EPSRC-funded project that addresses the challenge of treating contaminated land to recover materials for future use and economic gain. This project will deliver bio-manufactured, functionalised, Nano-particles and other high value products from contaminated land. We will utilise the ability of plants to preferentially take metals out of the ground in significant quantities (hyperaccumulate). We will then recover those metals via a combination of synthetic biology and process engineering and develop "bio-factories" that turn those metals into metallic nanoparticles via bacteria.
  • BISIGODOS is an EU FP7-funded project which aims to address the production of valuable algae-derived chemicals, amino acids and high added-value bio-resins starting from algae biomass fed directly with CO2 from industrial emissions (cement, steel factory, thermal power plants, etc.) as a raw material that is cost-effective and renewable. The process is assisted by solar radiation, nutrients and sea water microalgae and looks to produce amino acids and oils to be used as surfactants and monomers for polyurethane production.

See all our projects here >>

Key Publications

The feed-in tariff in the UK : a case study focus on domestic photovoltaic systems
Renewable Energy
Cherrington, R., Goodship, V., Longfield, A. and Kirwan, Kerry.

Natural fibre composite energy absorption structures
Composites Science and Technology
Meredith, R., Ebsworth, S. R., Coles, B. M,. Wood, K., Kirwan, K.

A membrane screening for the separation/concentration of Dilignols and Trilgnols from Solvent Extracts Separation and Purification Technology
Konscag, C. I., Kirwan, K.

Producer responsibility : defining the incentive for recycling composite wind turbine blades in Europe
Energy Policy
Cherrington, R., Goodship, V., Meredith, James O., Wood, Benjamin M., Coles, Stuart R., Vuillaume, A., Feito-Boirac, A., Spee, F. and Kirwan, Kerry.

Recycled carbon fibre for high performance energy absorption
Composites Science and Technology
Meredith, J., Cozien-Cazuc, S., Collings, E., Carter, S., Alsop, S., Lever, J., Coles, S. R., Wood, B. M., Kirwan, K.

Media and Press

See WMG in the Media for press coverage.