“I think it is a very dangerous option, storing large amounts (of C02 underground)”, Jyri-Pekka Mikkola told a seminar celebrating research by the Umeå University (UmU) Chemical Biological Centre. A professor of technical chemistry at UmU, in northern Sweden, Mikkola was referring to the ongoing debate on whether carbon capture and storage should be implemented on a large scale as one leg of a future international strategy to counter global warming by cutting greenhouse gases.
“We should make chemicals and fuels out of (the C02)”, he said, adding that applications could be organic carbonates and biodegradable plastics.
B4E scientists from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) 8 November will host a guided tour to the SLU pilot plant designed to make fuel pellets from forest-sourced raw materials. A bus chartered by conference organisers Svebio will be departing from the Umeå central bus station, at Vasaplan, at 9.15 am, to visit the pilot facilities at Röbäcksdalen.
The following day B4E leadership will outline plans for creating leading-edge biorefinery, including maximally efficient processes for making biofuels and bio-based chemicals, with a view to phasing out petrochemical products and fossil fuels. Meet the Bio4Energy team at Folkets Hus, downtown Umeå, together with Clas Engström, heading the Processum umbrella organisation for firms and research institutes in biorefinery. Session 9 of the Bioenergy Days starts at 1.30 p.m.
“We could bring ashes (or other byproducts of forestry or its process industries) back into the ecocycle after modification. This is an important part of Bio4Energy”, he said.
With a good ten researchers joining B4E this autumn, several of whom taking on senior roles, the meeting was designed to provide a forum for scientists across the B4E partner universities at Umeå and Luleå, and the research institute Innventia, to meet and to learn about projects being introduced by new members. Those buzzing around the B4E hub at Umeå, Sweden, where the conference was held, are described here.
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.
Just back at the office. Leif Jönsson represented Bio4Energy at ISAF in Italy. Photo by Bio4Energy.Bio4Energy in the world. Bio4Energy has a role to spread the word about benefits to the environment and business bottom lines of stakeholders coming together to develop a sustainable biorefinery value chain—and using forest-sourced biomass as raw material in these processes, according to a senior scientist in the B4E research environment.
Jönsson is a professor in biotechnology based in northern Sweden and head of the B4E Biochemical Platform. He is just back from representing the research environment at the International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels, given in its 19th edition, in tandem with a European Commission-sponsored biofuels event in Verona, Italy.
The European Union’s executive arm has defined “nanomaterial” as a material composed of particles that have “internal surface structure in the range betweeProduction of hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen may be produced using a catalyst made from nanomaterials. Photo by courtesy of the European Commission.n 1 and 100 billionth of a metre (nm), such as computer chips”, in a recommendation published online 18 October.
This has relevance to Bio4Energy since scientists on its Pretreatment and Fractionation Platform conduct research to design new materials using nanotechnology. Moreover researchers on the B4E Catalysis and Separation Platform have used nano-based materials extracted from metals to design membranes or catalysts, for instance to render the production of hydrogen from renewable raw materials more efficient per unit of output. (The latter materials might be considered nano-based composite or porous materials, however.)
The definition, adopted as part of a European Commission recommendation and based on advice from an EU executive’s scientific committees, is not binding per se, but will be enforced as a common standard across specific legislation that the Commission might propose or amend, according to a memo provided to journalists. More specifically, the definition will “primarily be used to identify materials for which special provision (concerning for example risk assessment or ingredient labeling) might apply”.
An international group of scientists with bearings in Bio4Energy has been Johannes Messinger and colleagues will develop tools to turn sunlight and water into "chemical" fuels by using photosynthesis. Photo by courtesy of Umeå University. awarded a €4.4 (SEK40.3) million grant to develop a membrane by which they hope to produce renewable energy from sunlight and water.
With their joint expertise in physics, plant physiology and chemistry, including in catalysis and separation, the researchers aimed to develop processes to underpin the generation of energy carriers such as hydrogen by using sunlight and water in a “highly efficient” photosynthetic process, the statement said. To achieve the conversion, the cross-disciplinary team envisaged developing a membrane, billed as “the Artificial Leave”.