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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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

International Day of Forests 2017

Video by courtesy of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.

Bio4Energy Graduate to Bioethanol Developer SEKAB

WilfredVermerris MonicaNormark PhotobyAnnaStromMonica Normark, pictured at her thesis defence with Wilfred Vermerris, has taken up a position at Bio4Energy industrial partner SEKAB. Photo by Bio4Energy.Bio4Energy graduate and research engineer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., previously with Bio4Energy’s group of experts on biochemical conversion technologies and industrial biotechnology, has scored a position with bioethanol developer SEKAB in northern Sweden, where she will be working to develop one of the company’s flagship inventions: the CelluAPP™.

“Monica Normark will be a great asset in our work. The CelluAPP™ makes it possible for companies to turn residual materials into marketable products. It’s a win-win situation for business and the environment”, said SEKAB E-Technology head of biorefinery technology This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in a press release.

Normark’s previous professional home, professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.’s group at Umeå University and the R&D platform Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies, have a long history of cooperating with—including handing down new inventions and patents to—SEKAB, which small firm develops bioethanol and “green” chemicals at the Biorefinery Demonstration Plant of the Domsjö industrial cluster, Örnsköldsvik, and is part of the Bio4Energy Industrial Network.

Read more: Bio4Energy Graduate to Bioethanol Developer SEKAB

New Project to Turn Quinoa Residue into Bio-based Products

Truth-about-human-food_280117Quinoa farming on the Andean Altiplano. Photo by courtesy of Truth About Human Food.

Scientists in Sweden and Bolivia have teamed up to investigate whether residues from the Latin American country’s production of quinoa—the health food that helped a good number of poor Andean farmers to a higher standard of living in the early-to-mid 2000s, but with overproduction and falling prices in its wake—can be turned into biorefinery products such as renewable ethanol, bio-based polymers or so-called biopesticides.

The three-year project, led from Sweden by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Bio4Energy, started last month as news arrived that the prestigious Swedish Research Council had decided to fund researcher exchanges and laboratory expenses under its 2016 call for Development Research. Umeå University in Sweden and Bolivian Universidad Mayor de San Andrés are project partners.

In essence, the Swedish and Bolivian researchers will pool their expertise in biochemical conversion of recalcitrant lignocellulosic materials, on the one hand, and in microbial biodiversity and agricultural conditions of the high Altiplano of the Andes, the high planes of the mountain range that straddles Bolivia and Peru, on the other. The scientists will start where food production stops, that is once the edible quinoa seeds have been separated from the rest of the quinoa plant and what is left are the stalk and seed coats.

Read more: New Project to Turn Quinoa Residue into Bio-based Products

Seminar on Bio-based Feedstock: 'Make No Mistake, There is Still Momentum for Building the Bioeconomy'

Is the efficient and sustainable biorefinery of the future challenged by the low price of oil and gas and the lack of a political framework that encourages bio-based production in the long term? Yes. Have actors in the sector shut up shop while waiting for conditions to be right for launching the bioeconomy? Not at all.

Judging from developments in Sweden, a precursor country in terms of biorefinery development based on woody materials and organic waste, great strides are being made in industry and academia to pave the way for a transition from an economy heavily reliant fossil fuels and materials based on petrochemicals, towards a bioeconomy. A few such developments were highlighted yesterday at a seminar at Umeå, in northern Sweden, on Feedstock for Sustainable Biofuel Production, by the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3 Centre), the research environment Bio4Energy and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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