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Innovation in action at science park

A low energy process has been developed by ESL Fuels in laboratory space at University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.

The new and innovative Molexis technology will complement large volume production of diesel, heating oil and marine fuels from sites across the UK.

The first production unit is currently being built, and is expected to process up to 50 tonnes per hour and be capable of running on a 24/7 basis.

Stephen Whittaker, managing director for ESL Fuels said: “I am extremely excited by the potential for our new Molexis process, something which we’ve been working on at Thornton Science Park for the past 12 months.

“The breakthrough comes 18 years after ESL Fuels became the first commercial biodiesel producer in the UK and 12 years after developing Ultra 35 heating oil, which has sold over a billion litres nationwide.

“Our location at Thornton Science Park, with its focus on energy and support of innovation, makes the University an ideal partner for us.”

Paul Vernon, senior executive director of commercial operations at the University of Chester, and chief executive of Thornton Research Properties Limited, added: “This is one of a growing number of examples of how the University of Chester is working with industry to allow business innovation and development to happen."

ESL Fuels specialises in the manufacture of innovative fuel products and has been an industry leader in bespoke fuels for nearly two decades. The company develops, manufactures and supplies a range of fuels for the road, heating and marine markets.

The University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park is formerly the Shell Technology Centre, with a rich 75-year history in research and development and a particular focus on energy.

The University of Chester is developing Thornton Science Park as a major research and innovation hub. The 28-hectare site offers over 90,000 square metres of industrial laboratories, workshops and office space for new and existing companies.

Pictured: ESL lab manager, Dave Barratt, carrying out fuel testing for third parties

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