- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 04 May 2016
The Coal Research Establishment
Coal has been the focus of experimentation at the laboratories at Stoke Orchard, Gloucestershire since the 1930s. Research and development into coal has been managed by a number of bodies since then, starting with the Government Fuel Research station, but the Coal Research Establishment (CRE) has become synonymous with the site.
British Coal’s Director of Research Jacob Bronowski set up the CRE in 1950 to investigate alternative technologies to improve the value of the energy produced from burning coal.
One of the CRE’s most notable breakthroughs was a coal liquefaction process which produced synthetic oil that could be used to power motor engines, including a demonstration Ford Torino which was kept at the site. Today, a number of international research stations are pursuing new research projects into coal liquefaction.
Gasification is a key part of the liquefaction process. This was pioneered successfully by CRE in the 1950s, using coal seams at Newman Spinney. Instead of burning coal as a fossil fuel, it is chemically transformed into synthetic natural gas (SNG). In later years CRE pursued clean coal projects, which would trap the carbon in a usable form that could be exploited in other chemical processes.
When the CRE joined forces with Gastec, a Dutch company, in 1994, it added gas and gas appliance testing to its portfolio.
Today it is part of the Kiwa Group, a global testing, inspection and certification organisation. Kiwa employs 150 people in the UK, servicing industries as diverse as construction, agriculture, food, boiler and stove manufacturing. Pioneering research is still undertaken at the Kiwa Gastec labs just outside Cheltenham, predominantly into hydrogen and other gases.
Featured articles and news
A PQP describes the activities, standards, tools and processes necessary to achieve quality in a project's delivery.
How Lidl has been actively working to reinforce their brand through sustainability.
Association of British Insurers describe full-scale cladding tests as 'utterly inadequate'.
This article examines the changing policy commitments and evolving definitions of the zero carbon home.
Researchers believe they may have created a 'game-changing' new form of concrete using graphene.
Grouting refers to the injection of materials into a soil or rock formation to change its physical characteristics.
Part of Designing Buildings Wiki, BREEAM Wiki will advance knowledge sharing for the BRE family of sustainability tools.
From the decorative to the utilitarian, and from the photographed to the forgotten.
New BRE book considers the progression from project-based knowledge creation to whole-life urban knowledge management.
This CIOB article explores the concept of value in building design and construction.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' release new images of soon-to-open 3WTC tower in New York.
A document can be called a bond or a guarantee. Does the name matter and what is the difference between them?