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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.

For Bio4Energy, the event will be an opportunity to share some its most successful R&D ventures. One is the development of a type of pre-treatment technology which hinges on roasting biomass and turning it into a light-weight, hydrophobic and brittle product (see attached video film in which Swedish is spoken). This "green" coal, as the Bio4Energy researchers call it, constitutes a highly suitable feedstock for the production of heat, electricity or biooil. Moreover, from production side streams high-value "green" chemicals may be captured and sold on to producers of specialty chemicals which, in turn, may go into pharmaceuticals, care products, cosmetics, coatings, adhesives or the like.

Also in the Bio4Energy section of the seminar, a second bloc will deal will biochemical conversion of recalcitrant biomass, mainly from coniferous wood, into fuels and chemicals. This type of biomass is tougher and more resistant to breakdown than "softer" types of feedstock such as agricultural residue, Bio4Energy researcher at UmU This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.explained. Finally, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who coordinates Bio4Energy's popular Biorefinery Pilot Research course of the Bio4Energy Graduate School, will give an overview of Bio4Energy’s efforts to contribute to student education and training on her home turf.

Biomass supply to biorefineries

For Forest Refine, a research project hosted by the Swedish regional biorefinery stakeholder Biofuel Region, the seminar marks the end of two years of work to shore up the provisioning of biomass to biorefineries: How best to take the feedstock from where it came about to where it should go to be turned into consumer products.

"Sweden and Finland are world leaders in research and development of different types of biorefinery processes. A prerequisite to commercial success is the existence of efficient supply of raw materials. It is important to see the full potential of a tree, to use [not only the wood, but also] the bark and needles, and to see the possibility of refining [the raw materials] into a spectre of high-value 'green' products", according to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Forest Refine project leader and seminar instigator.

Apart from representatives of Biofuel Region, Forest Refine consists of researchers at the SLU and SP Processum—both Bio4Energy partners. The research programme further links in with a set of Finnish actors, of which METLA, CENTRIA and Chydenius, some of whom came to visit Forest Refine and Bio4Energy in March and were given a tour of the region's bioenergy and biorefinery pilot facilities.

“In the biorefinery of the future knowledge from different disciplines must be merged. So we are very happy for the cooperation with Bio4Energy”, Matisons said.


A press release concerning this news item has been sent to Sweden-based press and media via My Newsdesk Sweden, in cooperation with Biofuel Region and its Forest Refine Project.


Cutting-edge torrefaction technology—to be explained at the New Products from Forests' seminar—is being upscaled by Bio4Energy researchers in Sweden, at a small combined heat and power factory adjacent to the campus of Umeå University in Sweden. On the first screen, Bio4Energy researcher Anders Nordin is working at the so-called Torrefaction Pilot. Video commissioned by SP Processum, published with permission.


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