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Latest Events

August
International conference: Lignin - Biosynthesis & Utilisation, Umeå, Sweden
August 24, 2014 (09:00)
(General)
Edouard Pesquet, Bio4Energy Feedstock Platform
BioInnvoation General Assembly
August 26, 2014 (All Day)
(General)
Jan Lagerström, Swedish Forest Industries' Federation; Stellan Marklund, Bio4Energy Programme Manager
Nordic Biogas Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland
August 27, 2014 (09:00)
(General)
Energy Technology Centre at Piteå 25-year Anniversary, Piteå, Sweden
August 29, 2014 (10:00)
(General)
Magnus Marklund, Bio4Energy Thermohemical Platform and ETC at Piteå
September
Bioenergy from Forest Conference, Helsinki, Finland
September 15, 2014 (09:00)
(General)
View full calendar
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Bio4Energy on Twitter

#Join science forerunners and developers in industry at the Lignin 2014 Conference--24-28 August, Sweden, @Lignin2014. 4:26 pm - 1 Aug 2014#
 
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In the Press



Biomass Magazine launches biogas map [over U.S. and Canadian facilities], Biomass Magazine
 



 




 

For plant biomass, size and age beat climate, Futurity/University of Arizona
 



Bio4Energy cooperation partner: EU-miljoner till biogasen i norra Sverige!, Biofuel Region
 


Elevance and Genting to Collaborate on New Biorefinery, Paint & Coatings Industry Magazine
 


Bio4Energy partners in two of three projects: 1,9 miljarder till svenskt bioenergiprojekt, Swedish Energy Agency
 

Feature: Overcoming adversity, Biofuels International
 

Moving towards a circular economy, Green (Living) Review
 





Europen Comission stakeholder consultation: Have your say on the future of science, IP Frontline
 

Happy Holidays from Bio4Energy Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Sunday, 06 July 2014 13:57

Happy-Holidays-from-Bio4Energy Photo-by-Anna-StromGlorious conifers, glorious sea. Pine trees wedged against the Mediterranean. Photo by Anna Strom©.

As summer holidays approach for some of us, Bio4Energy would like to wish you a nice summer. We will be back in August, or September for some, with the same team of researchers, including those who recently swapped places with each other in the Bio4Energy branch that deals with the thermal conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals. Click here to read about these changes.

Also in autumn 2014 Bio4Energy plans to host the following events together with its partners:  

  • Lignin 2014 – an international conference which aims to bring together top-of-the-line academic researchers with industry developing lignin applications or starting to produce (separate out) lignin on an industrial scale – Joint organisation with the Umeå Plant Science CentreUmeå, 24-28 August 2014  

  • Bio4Energy Industrial Network and SP Processum Membership Event – This last industrial network meeting in the first round of Bio4Energy will be an opportunity for industry representatives and academic researchers to discuss current or future collaborations and take joint look forwards. What are the needs of the biorefinery industry in terms of technology development? Could academia help with whole-system or process integration assessments? These and other questions are likely to be posed at this event, which looks set to include a guided tour of pilot and/or demonstration units attached to the cluster at Umeå – Umeå, 21 October 2014     

  • Bio4Energy Autumn Researchers’ Meeting – This will be the final biannual common event for Bio4Energy’s scientists in the first round of Bio4Energy, 2010-2015. There are about 250 researchers working for Bio4Energy in some capacity, across the three partner universities, Innventia, the Energy Technology Centre at Piteå, the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Michigan State University of the U.S.A. Bio4Energy researchers can expect a special event, at a venue in northern Sweden to be decided – 20-21 November 2014 

Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 13:29
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Bio4Energy Thermal Conversion of Biomass: People Reshuffle, Similar Direction of Research - Video Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 12:59

Jocke-Lundgren Rikard-Gebart SFC-change-of-leadership 514Joakim Lundgren (left) has taken over the leadership of the Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification from Rikard Gebart. Both are Bio4Energy researchers at the Luleå University of Technology. Photo by Leif Nyberg.

The Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification (SFC)—in which Bio4Energy’s ‘little sister’ Bio4Gasification is a research node—has a new leader since last month. So does the Bio4Energy Thermochemical Platform, which crew develops new knowledge on the nuts and bolts of entrained-flow gasification of biomass for the production of biofuels and “green” chemicals. In fact, even Bio4Gasification has a new person at its helm.

Reasons for change

The ball went rolling because one highly talented professor had too much to do, leading both the SFC, the Bio4Energy Thermochemical Platform and—after a successful round of applications for funding—the newish Biosyngas Programme, which delivers research and development (R&D) on behalf of the LTU Green Fuels Centre at Piteå, Sweden.

So 1 May Rikard Gebart of the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) formally handed over the leadership of the SFC to another Bio4Energy researcher: Joakim Lundgren, a leading figure on system analysis and process integration in the research environment, also acting as Bio4Energy’s coordinator in the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels or the f3 Centre, as it is called.Rainer-Backman DME-production-at-Pitea 614Rainer Backman of Umeå University takes over the leadership of the Bio4Energy Thermochemical Platform from this month. Photo by courtesy of Rainer Backman.

Around the same time a key PI on the Bio4Energy Thermochemical Platform, Rainer Backman of Umeå University, took over the role as the leader of the platform. Professor Backman has about 30 years of experience working in the academy and industry on various aspects of biomass gasification.

Finally, the researcher Kentaro Umeki, who was recruited into the research environment in 2011 and has been proving himself both in and outside the research laboratory even since, replaced Henrik Wiinikka as the Bio4Gasification chief coordinator. Wiinikka is a Bio4Energy researcher at the Energy Technology Centre at Piteå, a research foundation that acts as a link to industry and which has unique pilot facilities which allow scientists in the cluster to develop technology for producing synthetic gas or ready-made biofuel from forestry residue or wood.

Impact on Bio4Energy R&D development

"In my opinion all these people [are] a very good choice. I am very happy that all these guys in this case said 'yes' to jump into this. They are good coordinators, good people; both good soft and other skills. So I am very happy about this", said Bio4Energy’s vice director Marcus Öhman, professor at the LTU.

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Breakdown and Combustion of Recalcitrant Biomass: Problem Solving by Bio4Energy Researchers Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Friday, 30 May 2014 10:29

Patchwk-by-Nils-SkoglundAsh Chemistry and Fuel Design, Focusing on Phosphorus-rich Biomass, is the title of a recent report by Nils Skoglund, who is part of a group at Umeå University which develops environmentally-safe methods for burning biomass and recycling essential nutrients such as phosphorus. Photo collage by courtesy of Nils Skoglund.

Bio4Energy researchers have started to carve out a niche for themselves as specialists in dealing with recalcitrant biomass, be it from coniferous trees, agricultural residue or organic waste, a string of recent research results would suggest. While some work to control the organic content of the biomass, others break ground on biomass combustion where the focus is rather on ash chemistry and emission control. In the latter case, the focus is on the inorganic content of biomass.

Looking first at the organic biomass content, on the Bio4Energy Biochemical Platform they lead the world in solving thorny problems to do with the breakdown of wood or forestry residues from spruce trees for the production biofuels and "green" chemicals, a recent evaluation of Bio4Energy 2010-2014 has shown.

Going hand in hand with recent work by these biochemists to demonstrate a new method for large-scale bioethanol production—which makes use of a residual stream previously thought of as an environmental problem—new separation processes that make the wood release its sugars more easily have been put forward and compared by the scientists, who are specialised either in industrial biotechnology or catalytic processes and, in particular, the breakdown of biomass using ionic liquids. (Click on the 'Research' menu heading of this website to access recent Scientific Articles.)

In a recent article in the BMC Biotechnology scientific journal, they explain that, "Lignocellulosic biomass is highly recalcitrant and various pre-treatment techniques are needed to facilitate its effective enzymatic hydrolysis to produce sugars for further conversion to bio-based chemicals. Ionic liquids (ILs) are of interest in pre-treatment because of their potential to dissolve lignocellulosic materials including crystalline cellulose.

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Bio-based Material Research Set to Get Boost in Possible Second Round of Bio4Energy Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Friday, 23 May 2014 12:11

Stina-Jansson PPBio4Energy researcher Stina Jansson won an award from the Swedish king to develop international collaboration in her new research on making materials from biomass waste. Her colleague Kristiina Oksman (left) is a materials' researcher in Bio4Energy. Photography by Bio4Energy.Kristiina-Oksman PIn a possible new round of Bio4Energy, which research environment so far has been granted funding for the years 2010-2015, research to develop bio-based materials for specific industrial applications is likely to get a more prominent role.

While, thus far, one of Bio4Energy's groups at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden has developed a composite material being upscaled for use in water purification applications, others are looking into what might be made out of the tree polymer lignin. Yet others work to turn cellulose derivatives into textiles or similar products.  

Also, recently, a Bio4Energy PI working to rid thermal biomass conversion processes of polluting emissions, launched a new initiative to create "smart" materials with a low environmental impact from low-value waste fractions of biomass.

"We want to look at bio sludge, forestry or agricultural waste, municipal waste and food waste—or any such low-value bio-based materials which are currently not put to good use" and which are most often burned to produce heat, according to the Umeå University assistant professor Stina Jansson who leads a research group on Bio4Energy’s Environmental Platform.

"There has been much interest taken in creating applications for polymer-based materials, but these have not always turned out to be sustainable. Here we want to create materials which help close the loop in terms of a product’s impact on the environment.

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Proliferation of Biorefinery Due in a Decade, Seminar Hears Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 20:38

Bio4Energy-at-New-Products-SeminarBio4Energy presenters at a New Products from Forests Seminar at Umeå, Sweden, 9 April. From left: Anders Nordin, Leif Jönsson, Stellan Marklund and Sylvia Larsson. Photo by Bio4Energy.

Bio4Energy and the Forest Refine research project of Biofuel Region held an open seminar 9 April to showcase research—and in Bio4Energy’s case also development—along a biorefinery value chain based on woody feedstock and adapted to conditions in the northern Sweden and in Finland.

Sixty-five people from academia, industry, local or regional authorities, as well as a journalist, attended the seminar, New Products from Forests—Supply Chains and Biorefinery Process, which marked the end of the Forest Refine project which has been studying the supply chain to biorefineries of forest-sourced raw materials.

Bio4Energy wants to thank all who took part for their interest and for the discussion their many questions to the presenters brought about. This looks set to continue 8 May as Biofuel Region, Åkroken Science Park Biobusiness Arena are to host a follow-up seminar to discuss the policy context in which the biorefinery technology development takes place, with an eye to the upcoming elections of the next European Parliament from 22 to 25 May this year.

The presentations from the New Products from Forest Seminar are published here and on the Forest Refine pages of the website of Biofuel Region.

Below are few highlights of the discussions 9 April, which took place at Umeå, Sweden, at the Bio4Energy member organisation the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

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Research along Biorefinery Product Value Chain Traced at Open Seminar Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 15:17

Forest Refine logo

This week all those interested in cutting-edge biorefinery research and development (R&D) based on woody raw material are welcome to join Bio4Energy and the Forest Refine research project for an open seminar at Umeå, Sweden.

The 9 April event, New Products from Forests, will discuss biorefinery production from wood and woody residue. It will do so by starting from the provisioning of biomass, moving to methods and tools for biorefinery production and finally to discussing specifics of the refining process. To launch the seminar, held at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Valmet official Krister Sjöblom will describe the pioneering work Bio4energy cmykof that technology provider to the pulp and paper industry to pre-treat and process biomass in view of biorefinery production. Until 2013, what is now Valmet Corporation used to be the pulp and paper arm of Metso, a Bio4Energy industrial cooperation partner.

"It is important to cover the entire value chain [when conducting R&D]. Forest Refine covers the biomass supply chain while Bio4Energy spans the refinery part", said Stellan Marklund, Bio4Energy programme manager and a professor at Umeå University (UmU), who will be giving the seminar an overview of Bio4Energy’s progress from 2010 until the present.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 16:36
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Biorefinery Students Use System Analysis to Put Own Research in Context Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 16:16

Joakim-Lundgren 314Bio4Energy researchers Joakim Lundgren flashes a smile as he prepares to open Systems' Perspectives on Bioresources, the second course of the Bio4Energy Graduate School, 18 March. Photo by courtesy of the Luleå University of Technology.

In a Bio4Energy context, one could think of systems analysis as a tool with which to assess the impact of a process or product over its life cycle in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency. However, seen through the eyes of Joakim Lundgren, responsible for coursework in the Bio4Energy Graduate School for PhD students interested in biorefinery, system analysis may also be used by students and professors to understand their own work, in terms of why it is matters and where it fits in.

In fact, his course—Systems’ Perspectives on Bioresources, the second of the graduate school, kicked off 18 March—is designed to do just that: Help students understand "why their research is important", where it fits in the larger perspective of biorefinery and, not least, answer questions such as, "How much does it cost?" and 'What focus and direction should I give my research to make sure the results can be taken into use?', said Lundgren, who is an associate professor at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden.

The course is the second of two which are modeled closely on the Bio4Energy research environment, which aims to develop methods and tools for biorefinery production based on woody materials or organic waste, covering the entire product value chain from designing optimally-suited feedstock, to making biofuels, "green" chemicals and bio-based materials, and to checking that processes and products are sustainable and energy efficient, in a closed-loop system were raw materials are renewable and polluting emissions removed.

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'Industry at Crossroads': Lignin 2014 Conference to Discuss Way Ahead Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 18:15

Inför-Lignin-2014 Foto-Anna-StromBio4Energy researchers Edouard Pesquet and Hannele Tuominen inspect hybrid aspen at an Umeå Plant Science Centre greenhouse. Photo by Anna Strom©.

Late August 2014 the scientific world interested in woodyfeedstock and applications for biorefinery is set to turn its gaze on Umeå, Sweden, where leading experts in the field will discuss a polyaromatic material found in plants and deemed by many to be one of the greatest promises in biorefinery research: Lignin and its many applications.

Or such is the hope of scientists in northern Sweden, having resolved to stage a Lignin 2014 conference 24-28 August, at the heart of the European Cultural Capital 2014. Speakers have been confirmed representing the leading-edge of experimental biological and forest biotechnology research on lignin, as well as industrial commercialisation endeavours.

Among the latter, Martin Lersch of the Borregaard Group, a biorefinery multinational, is expected to share his first-hand experience of the company's lignosulphonate production and work to shore up the industrial process, while John Ralph—the chemist whose team created an artificial lignin molecule, thus paving the way for tailor-made wood—is but one of several leading academic speakers.

The organisers Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC), in cooperation with Bio4Energy and other actors, said they wanted to bring representatives of different strands of lignin research together to discuss basic research and application together with industry.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 19:58
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