National Programme 'Renewable Fuels and Systems' Set to Continue

JohannaMossberg CreditAnnaStromf3 Centre director Johanna Mossberg said the prolongation of the Renewable Fuels and Systems' programme meant its research results would be made more useful. Photo by Bio4Energy© 2017, archives.The Swedish national research programme Renewable Fuels and Systems is set to continue for four more years, the Swedish Energy Agency announced this week. In the four years since its inception, the programme—tasked with delivering fodder for science-based decision-making on systems' issues pertaining to renewable transport fuels—has delivered an extensive range of reports.

Coordinators are the Energy Agency itself and the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3 Centre), of which Bio4Energy is a founding member.

“We are happy about the extension of the programme. Now we can build on the research done to date and make it even more useful. Every part [of the work delivered] is important for spurring a transition to an energy system free of fossil fuels”, said f3 Centre director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., member of the Bio4Energy Industrial Network.

While the future direction of research on the programme is yet to be unveiled, and a first call for project proposals launched at the turn of the year, the foci of the work during 2014-2017 could be an indication of what is to come:

  • Large-scale production of biofuels;
  • Geographical placement of production units, e.g. biorefineries;
  • Socioeconomic effects of using renewable feedstock in fuel making instead of petrochemicals.


Contribution by Bio4Energy and partners

Joakim Lundgren 314Joakim Lundgren represents Bio4Energy as a member of the Board of the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels. Photo by courtesy of the LTU.To cap off the first programme period, the actors of the Renewable Fuels and Systems’ programme are inviting stakeholder to a conference 25 and 26 October, to share results from 29 projects. Bio4Energy researchers are part of seven of them:

  • Techno-economic analysis of bio methane production with novel upgrading technology - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy at the Luleå University of Technology

  • Methanol production via black liquor gasification with expanded raw material base - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, Luleå University of Technology

  • Environmental and socio-economic benefits from Swedish biofuel production - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, Luleå University of Technology

  • BeWhere - Stake-holder analysis of biofuel production in Sweden - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, Luleå University of Technology. More on the start of the BeWhere project here.

  • Long-term sustainability evaluation of fossil free fuels production concepts - Åsa Kastensson, previoulsy with Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, Luleå University of Technology

  • Methane as vehicle fuel - a gate-to-wheel study (METDRIV) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, Luleå University of Technology

  • Barriers to an increased utilisation of high biofuel blends in the Swedish vehicle fleet - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, Luleå University of Technology

Come to meet the programme participants, including Bio4Energy researchers and programme manager, at the 25-26 October conference at Uppsala, Sweden.

Registration is available here until 11 October.

Bio4Energy Graduates Who Move on to Industry: Danil Korelskiy to Beckers Group

DanilKorelskiy Beckers webDanil Korelskiy, a former Bio4Energy student specilising in membrane technology, has moved on to work with the multinational Beckers Group, at Beckers Industrial Coatings in Stockholm. Photo by courtesy of Danil Korelskiy.A number of Bio4Energy graduates—former students at the PhD or postdoctoral level—have moved on to work in industry at the end of their training. Some have gone to small- and medium-sized companies, such as SEKAB, or to larger companies or groups, like BillerudKorsnäs. Conversely, there are examples of PIs who have moved from employment at a commercial company to join the ranks of Bio4Energy researchers, or from the academy to join a research institute.

A shining example of the first is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., until recently with the research and development (R&D) platform Bio4Energy Chemical Catalysis and Separation Technologies at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden. This month, he took up employment with Beckers Industrial Coatings, as a Technical R&D Manager for Coil Coatings for North Europe. He is based at Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

With a background in Chemical Engineering, Russian-born Korelskiy has been specialising in membrane technology. The Beckers Group, for its part, say they lead the world when it comes to industrially-designed and pre-painted coatings applied to metal sheets and composite panels for roofs or domestic appliances, together with a handful of North American and Asian companies, according to the group's website and Korelskiy.

Read more: Bio4Energy Graduates Who Move on to Industry: Danil Korelskiy to Beckers Group

New Catalyst Paves Way for Large-Scale Hydrogen Production from Renewables

Water drop UmU 10817Scientist in Bio4Energy and academic partners have created a catalyst for water splitting into hydrogen and oxygen which system, if brought to scale, they say could render cost efficiency to large-scale water electrolysis systems. The intention is for these latter to be powered by electricity made from solar energy or another renewable source.

The concept could be used to produce sufficiently large amounts of hydrogen for this to be a cost-competitive energy carrier in the production of diesel or jet fuel. Springer Nature published the results last month in its Scientific Reports series.

“The system that we have created is robust, scalable and cheap... A further advantage is that we made it work using an alkaline saltwater solution. In principle you could run these systems on sea water”, said corresponding author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., professor at Bio4Energy lead partner Umeå University.

What the researchers spread over academic institutions in Sweden, Finland and Vietnam set out to do was not necessarily to find the most productive catalyst, but rather one that was cheap, environmentally benign and—above all—performed with great stability and potential for scale up.

Read more: New Catalyst Paves Way for Large-Scale Hydrogen Production from Renewables

New Leader for Bio4Energy's Environmental Researchers

StinaJansson platform lead Photo by AnnaStrom copyAssociate professor Stina Jansson is a new leader for the R&D platform Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling. Photo by Bio4Energy.The research and development platform Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling has a new leader. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., associate professor at Umeå University (UmU), will be taking over the platform leadership from Dan Boström, who has seen his workload increase substantially since becoming Bio4Energy programme manager in February last year. Boström and Jansson will be sharing the leadership over the summer, following which Jansson will shoulder the role fully from 1 September 2017.

“We are pleased to announce that Stina is a new platform leader in Bio4Energy. She is a young researcher with a great record as an environmental chemist. She is also at a very progressive stage of her career. We are glad that she has accepted to take on the role”, said Boström, professor at UmU, adding that the Bio4Energy Board had passed the decision this month to promote Jansson to the post of platform leader.

Part of the research environment since its launch in 2010, Jansson was a postgraduate student in the group of the former Bio4Energy programme manager, professor emeritus Stellan Marklund. Her area of expertise includes research to check the environmental credentials of thermal processes for the conversion of biomass.

Read more: New Leader for Bio4Energy's Environmental Researchers

Bio4Energy Researchers Acknowledged for 'Milestone' Article on Ash Transformation Chemistry

NS MOh DB MB ChB AS8617For a long time, the selection of fuels for biomass combustion, in terms of avoiding problems such as slagging and fouling of the reactors, often was carried out based on trial and error. About a decade into the 21st century, a group of Sweden-based researchers with long-standing experience in high-temperature conversion of woody feedstock to heat and power started to mull over a more systematic approach to assessing the reactions in thermal conversion of the chief trouble-making content of the biomass: the inorganic compounds forming the ash.

In 2012, the scientist, brought together under the umbrella of Bio4Energy, published an article on Ash Transformation Chemistry during Combustion of Biomass in the interdisciplinary scientific journal Energy & Fuels by the American Chemical Society (ASC). The article describes a conceptual model by which any type of biomass—whether originating from wood, woody or agricultural residue or other types of combustible waste—may be characterised, and thus understood, in terms of the basic chemical reactions that take place during thermal conversion of biomass into heat, power, fuels and chemicals.

After having been amply cited by other researchers around the world, this spring, the article by Bio4Energy scientists received the 2017 Energy & Fuels Joint Award for Excellence in Publication.

Read more: Bio4Energy Researchers Acknowledged for 'Milestone' Article on Ash Transformation Chemistry

Prebiotics to be Developed in Science-industry Project

Bio4Energy researchers with expertise in biochemical conversion technologies and wood pre-processing are at the helm of two new projects to develop prebiotics and commercial fish feed, and fungi and biofuels, respectively, from bio-based starting materials. Both are three-year projects granted in the 2017 round of funding for innovation projects by BioInnovation, a Swedish national platform for bio-based innovations, and have a substantial line-up of commercial companies as partners.

The first project, called ForceUpValue for short, aims at demonstrating the production of low-cost prebiotics—food or feed ingredients that, once in the gut, induce the growth of microorganisms and which activity can have a positive effects on human health—starting from two abundantly available sources of bio-based feedstock: Forestry residues and a sea-living organism called Ciona intestinalis. The latter is known to have an outer layer, a tunic, rich in cellulose, which the project partners expect to use in the production of prebiotics.

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Read more: Prebiotics to be Developed in Science-industry Project

Bio4Energy Accelerated Integration, Future Past 2020

Accelerated Integration and Future Past 2020 was the theme for a recent Spring 2017 Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting or Bio4Energy biannual conference for its researchers. The presenters were all recruited for their willingness to collaborate more widely across the Bio4Energy Research and Development Platforms.

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The second day of two had a focus on Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy. Platform leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of the Luleå University of Technology said two important considerations, when assessing emerging technologies in a system perspective, were to apply appropriate system boundaries and to take into account the societal context at the time of commercialisation of any resulting products.

Attachments:
Download this file (Active-carbon-catalysts-of-bio-based-waste_Lakhya-Konwar.pdf)Active Carbon Catalysts of Bio-based Waste[Lakhya Konwar, Bio4Energy Chemical Catalysis and Separation Technologies]1875 kB
Download this file (CFD-modelling-of-biomass-fast-pyrolysis-oil-spray-combustion_Pál-Tóth.pdf)CFD Modelling of Biomass Fast Pyrolysis Oil Spray Combustion[Pál Tóth, Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies, 8 June 2017]1899 kB
Download this file (Dissecting-the-genetics-of-wood-formation-in-Norway-Spruce_Rosario-García-Gil.pdf)Dissecting the Genetics of Wood Formation in Norway Spruce[Rosario García-Gil, Bio4Energy Feedstock, 8 June 2017]2040 kB
Download this file (How-should-we-use-our-forests_Timber-bioenergy-or-both_Runar-Brännlund.pdf)How Should We Use Our Forests? Timber, Bioenergy or Both?[Runar Brännlund, Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, 9 June 2017]315 kB
Download this file (Integrating-resource-recovery-with-energy-systems_Nils-Skoglund.pdf)Integrating Resource Recovery with Energy Systems[Nils Skoglund, Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies, 8 June 2017]782 kB
Download this file (Mixed-fuel-composed-of-household-waste-and-waste-wood_Mar-Edo.pdf)Mixed Fuel Composed of Household Waste and Waste Wood[Mar Edo, Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling, 8 June 2017]1628 kB
Download this file (Online-monitoring-of-whole-bulk-streams_Mikael-Thyrel_B4E-WPP.pdf)Online Monitoring of Organic and Inorganic Content in Whole Bulk Streams[Mikael Thyrel, Bio4Energy Wood Pre-processing, 8 June 2017]2168 kB
Download this file (Organosolv-biorefinery-of-the-lignocellulosic-biomass_Paul-Christakopoulos.pdf)Organosolv Biorefinery of the Lignocellulosic Biomass[Paul Christakopoulos, Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies, 8 June 2017]8318 kB
Download this file (The-crucial-need-to-establish-links-between-environmental-performance-and-emerging-innovations_Krishna-Upadhyayula.pdf)The Need to Assess Environmental Performance of Emerging Innovations[Krishna Upadhyayula, Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, 9 June 2017]722 kB

Read more: Bio4Energy Accelerated Integration, Future Past 2020

Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification Gets Four More Years

JoakimLundgren Photo by AlanSherrardJoakim Lundgren gives a talk at a 2016 seminar by the Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification. Photo by Alan Sherrard, Bioenergy International.The Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification (SFC)—launched in 2011 to provide coordination of Sweden-based efforts to develop gasification of biomass into a viable alternative to fossil energy carriers—looks set to continue its operations for four more years. The much-awaited announcement came as a the Swedish Energy Agency confirmed its decision in a press release to provide provisional funding for another programme period, from 20 April 2017 to 19 April 2021. 

“The decision is wonderful news. We are so happy. We have achieved a lot in a short time, six years; and now we can build on it, provide an edge to the technology, according to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who directs the centre since 2014.

Gasification of biomass, in which lignocellulosic feedstock is turned into synthesis gas and then converted to liquid biofuel or electricity, is taken to be one of the cleanest and most technology-ready options when it comes to renewable alternatives to fossil energy carriers. According to estimates outlined in a government-commissioned package of reports from 2013, one in three cars travelling on Swedish roads could be running on the new fuels in 2030. These could be renewable dimethyl ether, methanol, methane or synthetic diesel.

Read more: Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification Gets Four More Years

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