Innovation

Innovation is fundamental to any business. It is the way in which new markets or opportunities are explored in order to be ahead of competitors or to build-in resilience for unknowns of the future. Peak Associates, as a leading environmental consultancy, is always looking to innovate in the services it provides and to offer new and exciting directions for your needs.

Peak Associates has co-located with Lancaster University at its Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC). This gives us a unique opportunity to access academics, state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge research and students to deliver a wide range of projects.

We are the intermediate between industry and research and have delivered a range of innovative cutting-edge research programs.

Some small projects can be run free of charge to clients as part of the University’s student project programme. We have completed over 20 such projects in the last 5 years and currently have 6 projects running with businesses in 2015/16.

If you would like to discuss how Peak Associates can provide innovation for your needs please contact us for more details about this service.

Case studies in Innovation

The recovery, re-use and sustainable treatment of glycol pollutants at Manchester Airport

Peak Associates delivered a PhD project with Andrew Freeman through Lancaster University’s Centre for Global Eco-Innovation to deliver a system of control for surface water contamination with de-icing chemicals at Manchester Airport.

Alternative sustainable and economic solutions were investigated by Andrew. This included large-scale filtration treatment of contaminated surface water from the airfield. The results show how biochemical oxygen demand can be reduced in the effluent, reducing the impact on the local sewer system from the airport.

The research, in close collaboration with Manchester Airport Group, also provided a reliable means of monitoring surface water contamination to ensure the airport remained compliant with environmental regulations.

End of Waste Criteria for trommel fines - manufactured topsoil (From small seeds great projects grow)

Peak Associates has been engaged in researching End of Waste Criteria for trommel fines which we regard as a valuable ingredient for manufactured soil.

Growth trials at Lancaster University’s advanced plant science laboratories have shown soil manufactured with trommel fines to not only support grasses and wildflowers, but performing better then commercial topsoil.

The sulphur content of the trommel fines is a nutrient which grasses thrive on and which a lot of grassland in the UK is deprived of.

We trialed trommel fines from waste transfer sites in Lancashire, Cumbria, and Greater Manchester.

Each set of fines had different characteristics, but each proved to have acceptable levels of metals, organic and in-organic elements for soil.

This work was funded through Innovate UK’s Innovation Voucher scheme.

The next phase is for outdoor trials to submit the soils for End of Waste Criteria assessment through the Environment Agency.

This will be a major investment for Peak Associates and the waste companies we are in partnership with.

Student Projects – supporting the new generation of scientists

Peak Associates is very fortunate to have six Lancaster University students in 2016. The projects are looking at a range of innovations which will either serve directly a client’s needs or help us advance the services we provide.

The current student projects are engaged with:

  • Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
  • Waste wood recycling for combustion
  • Potential for contaminative sediments in sustainable transport networks
  • Green roofing with trommel fines waste
  • Carbon budgeting with trommel fines waste
  • Drainage assessment – the National Trust

Through Lancaster University’s Centre for Global Eco-Innovation Peak Associates are able to deliver longer-term research projects through doctoral, masters or Knowledge Exchange Partnerships. These projects can last between 2 and 5 years, with a dedicated student researcher, access to academic supervisors, UK and European grant funding, and the invaluable university network.