- Written by Anna Strom
Australian experts on biofuels and biochemicals, as well as some 40
Bio4Energy researchers and a handful of academic representatives of the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, at B4E’s first Miniconference.
The 25 October conference at Umeå, Sweden, is designed to provide a forum for scientists in the rapidly expanding B4E research environment to meet recent recruits and to be informed of new projects. Moreover, programme researchers are set to discuss future applications for funding under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, as well as define that which research groups can do to provide added value to industry of participating in B4E.
Last but not least, Ulrika Rova of the nascent B4E Graduate School will not only be giving the conference a progress update, but also introduce three colleagues from Monash University of Australia, who are expected to be strategic partners in organising and running courses in cooperation with B4E.
New research projects presented
The conference will see several new members of B4E present their research. Professors Rainer Backman of Umeå University and Andrea Toffolo of Luleå University of Technology, of the Thermochemical and Process Integration Platforms, respectively, will be outlining their plans for B4E projects.
From the B4E Environmental Platform, LTU professor Johan Ingri will explain the relevance of his work on boron isotopes in forestry to the advancement of biorefinery research in B4E, and Ming Zhou, of the Catalysis and Separation Platform, will describe his latest projects.
The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences will be represented by Sylvia Larsson who is a recent member of the B4E Pretreatment and Fractionation Platform, developing processes for biomass compaction technology, for instance to make pellets from forest-sourced biomass, and for hydrothermal treatment of biomass. Finally, Sandra Winestrand and Thomas Gillgren will hold a joint presentation to describe their work to make coatings from renewable materials, designed to keep foods fresh for longer. Gillgren and Winestrand are working to design "intelligent" food packaging, notably by adding an inside lining to sturdy packaging, which will prevent oxidisation of foods and work to conserve their texture and appearance.
Bio4Energy joined by Australian grad school partner
As if this was not enough, strategic partners to the B4E Graduate School being created are scheduled to touch down at Umeå for the B4E Miniconference. From the Chemical Engineering Department of Monash University, Australia, Akshat Tanksale will outline his university's research on biofuels and bio-based chemicals. His colleagues Kazi Bayzid Kabir, a postgraduate student at the Energy, Fuels and Reaction Engineering Group at Monash University, and Paul Webley, a professor of chemical engineering, will be joining up during the day.
So too will four LTU representatives of the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) which has a mandate to render Swedish research more international by fostering collaborations between Swedish researchers and foreign counterparts.