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Alistair McKinley 290x217The Energy and environmental industry utilises a diverse range of technologies which have been developed utilising advances in a multitude of scientific disciplines including, mechanical engineering, materials science, electronics and chemistry. Recent developments have led to several emergent technologies that will provide greater benefit to this sector.

Several advances continue to be made in the field of Li-ion batteries. As research in this area has intensified several advanced nanomaterials have been identified that can replace the existing graphite material used for the negative electrode with improvements in energy density, power density, life cycle, safety and cost. Other areas of research have focussed on the assessment and identification of second life applications for perceived end of life Li-ion batteries. One company has developed a quick, innovative and non-destructive process which can test the re-usable potential for lithium batteries and provide insight into the state of internal chemical degradation within each battery.

Another area of intense research is water management and monitoring and removal of hazardous compounds from industrial wastewater. A catalytic method has been developed that can effectively decompose cyanide which is cheaper quicker and does not generate any harmful products. In addition, another development has seen the generation of a smart pH sensor capable of working in demanding sea and drinking water to inform users of the pH value extremely accurately.

Other related developments have seen the generation of a method to transform waste wood products into valuable chemicals and fuels. The method utilises a recyclable liquid salt which penetrates mixed waste wood into two main components cellulose and lignin while dissolving any contaminants present. This results in the generation of sustainable bio-derived products at a much lower cost. Another biomass project has seen the development of a one-step conversion of biomass waste to marine diesel. The lignin (biomass waste) is cooked in the ethanol converting it to a bio-crude. This bio-crude meets the standards required for marine diesel and since it is sulphur free can substitute higher costs low-sulphur marine diesel.

Invest in your business with R&D tax relief

Manufacturing is a vital part of the UK economy, and with so many small and medium firms contributing throughout the supply chain, across a variety of industries, it’s vital that they receive as much financial support as possible. 

The Government's R&D tax relief is one of the biggest funding sources for innovative UK companies, but with hundreds of pages of guidance to wade through and almost as many pitfalls to avoid, it can be tough to go it alone.

Involving specialist advisors such as ABGi-UK for your claim means that your claim will be more efficient. You will benefit from the specialist’s tried and tested template and receive support from their team to guide you through any questions as you compile the claim. 

With support from specialist advisors you will be able to 

  • demonstrate which of your activities qualify under the scheme, 
  • receive a funding stream for further research and development projects and 
  • develop an understanding of how to make best use of the scheme as you progress. 

ABGi-UK is a leading R&D tax relief specialist, guiding companies through the complexities of submitting claims to HMRC.  

ABGi-UK’s large team of technical analysts have specific scientific and technical backgrounds and years of industrial experience which have resulted in an extremely high success rate in securing R&D tax relief for their clients. Since inception 10 years ago, they have realised almost £100 million benefit for their clients. Right now, they’re submitting an average of 500 claims per year to HMRC. 

For a free R&D tax credit consultation and analysis of the potential returns you might expect, contact ABGi-UK on [email protected] or visit the website:

Alistair completed his PhD at the University of St Andrews and spent a further two years working as a Postdoctoral researcher within the University’s chemistry department. When not working, he’s a keen and competitive golfer and can regularly be found on the links of St Andrews and North Berwick. He works with clients in engineering, manufacturing, chemical industries and medical technologies, renewables and recyclables. 
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