Renewable energy from animal wastes: Benefits for agriculture and society

inspire project (1280 x 184)

Team leaders:

           Central and South Asia : Prof. Dr. Md. Tofazzal Islam (BSMRAU)

Professor Md. Tofanal Islam – Professor of Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology (BSMRAU). His research focuses on biorational management of natural resources for pest control and plant nutrition for low input sustainable agriculture in the changing climatic and environmental conditions. He has successfully completed several international research projects in collaboration with researchers at Hokkaido University (Japan) and University of Goettingen (Germany) on applied and environmental microbiology related eco-friendly agricultural practices with financial supports frorn Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Alexander von Hurnboldt (AvH) Foundation, respectively. Current research grants: Enrichment of facilities for biotechnological research at BSMRAU (£330 K, World Bank). He is a participant in British Council International Leadership Development Program. As Bangladesh team leader, he is responsible for biotechnological research on waste utilization in crop production, communication with UK leader and British Council on all aspects of the project.

           UK : Dr. Helen West (UoN)

Dr Helen West – Associate Professor in Environmental Biology in the School of Biosciences (UoN). Current research focuses on effects of climate change and pollution on soil, plant/microbial and invertebrate interactions in agro-ecosystems. She is currently evaluating the sustainability, ecotoxicology and efficacy (as a nutrient source) of wastes derived from sustainable energy systems. This work includes laboratory and field-scale trials on a range of anaerobic digestates and biochars (funded by EPSRC). Trials are also underway to test novel uses for anaerobic digestates in the horticulture industry (funded by WRAP) and she is leading a new project to assess control measures for reducing contamination of anaerobic digestate derived from manures (co-funded by FERA). Other research is/was supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, NERC and BBSRC. As UK team leader she is responsible for engagement with the Bangladesh team, the research direction and delivery and management of finances. She will lead the UK interests in nutrients from energy systems and supervision of PhDs. She has experience of working in Bangladesh.

Team Members | United Kingdom:

Professor Michele Clarke – Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Asia and Professor of Environmental Change (UoN). Main research interests in the fields of climate change, energy, land degradation and food security. Current research includes energy from biomass (funded by EPSRC, DST, UKIERI); water resource variability, food security and rural poverty (NERC-ESRC-DFID, British Council); and extreme weather impacts on land degradation and soil erosion (British Council; British Academy). Current research grants: Lead Principal Investigator for the £2.7M RCUK-DST bioenergy project EP/J000361/1 Rural Hybrid Energy Enterprise Systems (RHEES) which is a joint UK- India award, EPSRC EP1K00394111 Global Engagements in Research, BBSRC BB/J019933/1 Sustainable Soil Management for Improved Food Security and Bioenergy Delivery, UKIERI-UGC Thematic award (UGC86) Optimising Phosphate Recovery from Community Bioenergy Systems Low Cost Sustainable Fertiliser Production for Rural Communities. She is also mentoring two Bangladeshi colleagues under the British Council International Leadership Development Programme. Responsible for leading the joint PhD initiatives and institutional collaboration, research on energy from waste and PhD supervision.

Ms Helen Foster – Assistant Director, International Office (UoN). Head of Transnational Education. Responsible for advising on all stages of the development of a joint international PhD programmes, ensuring compliance with appropriate quality standards and formal approval through University processes.

Professor Chris Atkin – Head of Educational Development and Research (BGU). His research focuses on the policies and practice of post-School education in rural communities and he has written extensively on issues affecting human and social capital development globally. He is currently working on small scale renewable energy in rural communities and has led a number of projects for the Learning and Skills Council, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Academy and has worked with UNESCO Institute for Educational Planning, Paris and Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (Japan) on food security and education. Responsible for leading outreach and engagement with end-users, research on societal benefits of energy and waste utilisation and PhD supervision.

Dr Lisa Avery — Environmental Microbiologist at the James Hutton Institute pH!). She obtained her PhD in Microbiology 11 years ago from the University of Nottingham and worked at the School of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, University of Wales (Bangor) and the Centre for Water Science at Cranfield University prior to taking up her post at the Institute in 2006. Her current interests relate to pathogen prevalence and transport in the environment, pathogens in green-waste composts and the potential for small-scale biogas digesters in sub Saharan Africa, with emphasis on pathogen loads a. antibiotic resistance through anaerobic dtgestion.

All of the partners have extensive experience of international research partnership and project management.

Team Members |Bangladesh:

Professor Giashuddin Miah – Dean of Graduate School and Professor in Agroforestry and Environment of BSMRAU. Main research interests in the field of climate change, food security and agroforestry. He is involved in many policy-making bodies at national and internal levels including Scientific Planning Group (SPG) Member of the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). Chairman, South as Sub-regional Committee of APN Ad Country Representative (honorary) 0 World Agroforestry Center/ICRAF. He is currently involved in two International donor funded projects on agroforestry Ad environment He is a participant in British Council International Leadership Development Program Responsible for research on environment and Ph D supervision.

Professor Abu Nasar Md. Arninoor Rahman – Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science (FVMA) of BSMRAU, Bangladesh. Current research focuses on effect of environment on breeding ecology of rare birds and their conservation (RMC. BSMRAU funded). He also involved in the status survey, recovery and conservation of elephant and vulture with IUCN and Forest Department of Bangladesh (World Bank Funded). Current research grants: Development of a Central Laboratory at the FVMA and improvement of teaching-learning quality (£137 K, World Bank). Responsible for research on animal and livestock waste utilization and PhD supervision

Dr. Md. Ahiduzzaman – Assistant Professor, Department of Agro-processing of BSMRAU Research focused on PASS on agricultural products (drying A fruits Ad vegetables) and agricultural residues processing to prepare AS added products such as biochar, biomass briquette, activated carbon, conducting carbon and sodium silicate etc. Interested in development and adaptation A renewable energy technologies in different farm operations eg. solar and biornass/biogas based drying, improvement of energy efficiency of household and commercial combustion stoves, biogas production from different agro-residues. Ongoing research on development of a solar PV and biomass energy operated forced convection dryer suitable for drying of agricultural products Responsible for research on waste utilization and bioenergy.

Professor A S Mahfuzul Bari – Vice Chancellor A Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Science University and Professor in Animal Pathology. An alumnus of University of Nottingham, UK, professor Bari uinvolved in rnany national and international policy making bodies on higher education and research. His current interests include, Molecular biology, immunology and clinical pathology. Responsible for research A institutional collaboration, joint I PhD initiatives and PhD supervision.

Mohammad Mahmudul Hassan – Associate Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. Research interests on Avian influenza. Ongoing research is ‘investigation of Avian influenza: wild and domestic birds interface in Bangladesh’. Current involvements include teaching and training on Veterinary Pharmacologyand Veterinary toxicology. Rensible for animal waste utilization and environmental management.

Professor Md. Shahid Ullah Talukder – Vice Chancellor of Sylhet Agricultural University and Professor in Irrigation and Water Management. He is involved in many national and international policy making bodies on high education and research. His interests include water management, environment, food security and quality improvement in higher education and research in Bangladesh. Responsible for leading the joint PhD initiatives and institutional collaboration.

Dr. Mohammed Shafi Ullah Bhuiyan – Assistant Professor and Chairrnan, Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Sylhet Agricultural University. Research interests on plant cell, tissue and organ culture for crop improvement and production, gene identification, cloning and functional analysis for abiotic stress tolerance, Genetic engineering for biofuel production. Ongoing research projects on development of a genetic engineering laboratory for the department for enhancement of quality education and heavy metal phytoremediation research funded by World Bank. Responsible for waste utilization, bioenergy and PhD supervision.

Project partner institutions:


  •      Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agriculture University (BSMRAU)
  •      Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Science University (CVASU)
  •      Sylhet Agricultural University (SAU)

   United kingdom:

  •     University of Nottingham (UoN)
  •     Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU)
  •     James Hutton institute (JHI)

Total grant:  Sterling 45,604

Duration: 3 years


  • To utilize complementary skills at partner institutions to establish new collaborative multidisciplinary research focused on the benefits of developing a range of energy from livestock waste schemes
  • To promote the value of nutrient recycling from energy systems and its application to agriculture
  • To establish the potential for joint doctoral training programs across partner institutions