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April
Concluding Seminar "Färdplan biogas i Norr- och Västerbotten", Skellefteå, Sweden
April 29, 2014 (All Day)
(General)
Lars Sandström, Biofuel Region
May
North Sweden EU Forum, Skellefteå & Luleå, Sweden
May 06, 2014 (09:00)
(General)
Mikael Janson, North Sweden
Energy Efficiency in Chemical Industry at Stenungsund, Gothenburg, Sweden
May 08, 2014 (All Day)
(General)
Chalmers Area of Advance
Ska EU bestämma till vad och hur vår biomassa får användas?
May 08, 2014 (12:30)
(General)
Magnus Matisons, Biofuel Region
View full calendar
B4E-2-Entry
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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‘New Products from Forests’ – Open Seminar at Umeå by Biofuel Region & Bio4Energy in April Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Monday, 24 February 2014 19:21

Torrefied wood 24214Roasting biomass as a pre-treatment method, torrefaction, will be discussed at a 9 April public seminar at Umeå, Sweden. Photo of torrefied wood published with permission.

In April, Biofuel Region and Bio4Energy will host at seminar at Umeå, Sweden, to give a snapshot of the latest advances in research and development (R&D) concerning New Products from Forests - Supply Chains and Biorefinery Processes. The seminar, planned for 9 April at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, will be open to all those interested in what energy and material technologies may be put forward as a realistic alternative to those based on products based on refined fossil oil.

Since the co-hosts Bio4Energy and the Biofuel Region project Forest Refine both start from woody raw materials when conducting R&D, the focus will be on methods that could set Sweden and similar countries and partners a step closer to realising commercial biorefinery operations—producing advanced biofuels and “green” chemicals”—in an efficient and a sustainable way. This is their contribution to developing a bioeconomy, to replace at least a part of the current one, heavily dependent on fossilised carbon for energy and other products.

For Bio4Energy’s part, the seminar will be an opportunity to provide an update on the much-touted biomass pre-treatment method which employs roasting as a means to wring the moisture and further undesirable elements out of woody biomass, turning it into a brittle and light-weight product which is easy to transport, store, handle and—not least—use to produce heat, electricity or as an intermediate step to making “green” oil with properties similar to those of fossil-derived crude.

A newly patented method for taking efficient bioethanol production to a near industrial scale will be described, as well as the possibility of combining it with a process to rid the same of undesirable waste products. To finish, Bio4Energy’s popular Graduate School for PhD students—which first Biorefinery Pilot Research course concluded in November 2013—will be explained and discussed.

Registration is available under this link.

A full programme will be posted in the Upcoming Conferences or Coursework section of the Research page of this website.

A seminar announcement in Swedish is available on the website of Umeå University.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014 14:31
 
Bio4Energy to Open Popular ‘Pilot Research’ Course to Students from Non-member Organisation Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 19:02

ltu

After a successful first run of its Biorefinery Pilot Research course in 2013, Bio4Energy has decided to give PhD students outside the B4E cluster the possibility to enroll in it when it is given again this year.

SP Processum logotype PNG

The course is one of several in the Bio4Energy Graduate School, launched in November 2012, to fill a void in Sweden's higher learning system. It is designed to give student researchers—previously only those affiliated to B4E—the opportunity to learn about and engage in the work at some of Sweden’s most high-technological biorefinery pilot and UmU Logodemonstration units.

“Since the course was well received by students and industry alike, we are disposed to let at least two students  from outside Bio4Energy take part”, according to Ulrika Rova, coordinator of the Bio4Energy Graduate School.

etc-loggaslu logo rgb web“There is no other course in Sweden that takes a close look at operations at these pilot units. This is why we have chosen to open [the 2014 application] to external students. [In the Bio4Energy Graduate School] we offer two unique courses which mirror the Bio4Energy research environment. Apart from the focus on techniques for biorefinery production there is a course in system analysis, Systems Perspectives on Bioresources, said Rova, professor at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden.

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Researchers Find 'Handle' with Which to Control Wood Growth, Density Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 14:30

Hybrid aspen WAT1 006An international research team located a gene which could allow them to control auxin hormone distribution in the cells of stem wood. Pictured is an early experiment by Bio4Energy researchers using the new knowledge to breed hybrid aspen. Photo by B4E.

An international team of scientists have realised a breakthrough which paves the way for researchers to start controlling growth and density in trees bred for bioenergy production, such as hybrid aspen.   

Bio4Energy researchers involved said the findings meant they now had a "handle" with which to manipulate the transport of the plant hormone auxin in wood producing cells found in the stem of trees. Their peer-reviewed article has been published in the well-respected scientific journal Nature Communications.

There appears to be agreement in the scientific community involved in research focused on plants which have a similar make up to wood that the hormone auxin is a regulator of plant growth. Yet, the international research team says in its new article, so far all attempts at regulating the kind of auxin transport in wood that could influence the wood's make up have failed.

That may be about to change, however. The team, led by Deborah Goffner of the University of Toulouse, succeeded in locating a protein which task is to transport the auxin through the growth stages of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. B4E researcher Urs Fischer said this WAT1 protein, as it has been named, could be a key to unlock the research community’s past unfruitful attempts at inducing more rapid growth or further densification of wood.

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Bio4Energy Researchers Behind New Method for Cost-efficient Ethanol Making Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Thursday, 05 December 2013 17:55

JackSaddler 1113Renowned researcher Jack Saddler from the University of British Columbia, Canada, came to Sweden to evaluate and celebrate the new results on the biorefining of lignocellulose. These were contained in a doctoral thesis by Adnan Cavka, Bio4Energy researcher at Umeå University. Photo by Bio4Energy.

Bio4Energy researchers have invented a method for making ethanol from cellulose from trees using enzymes, which is designed to reduce costs and so to provide for industrial production of bioethanol on a commercial scale. The process has been patented and means the patent holder, the Swedish clean-technology company SEKAB, has a new energy-efficient method to integrate with the technologies it has been using in its efforts to scale up production of bioethanol from woody raw materials at the Sweden-based Domsjö Fabriker biorefinery of Aditya Birla.

The research results also include a further attempt at cost cutting and reduction of the environmental impact of producing bioethanol. Instead of drawing on enzymes made in a synthetic medium, which are often expensive, the researchers tried several ways of making enzymes themselves, by letting a type of filamentous fungi feast on biorefinery waste streams such as fibrous sewage sludge or stillage. The latter takes the form of a dark brown liquid broth, smelling of a coniferous tree’s sweet resin, with notes of acidic vinegar and burnt sugar. Lead researcher Adnan Cavka, of the B4E Biochemical Platform, said that the type of fungi used might not be the best suited one for the purpose, but that the researchers wanted to “try and see if it worked”.

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