Bio4Energy research. Scientists on the Bio4Energy’s Feedstock Platform have tested a new strategy for shifting the balance UPSC scientists prefer to work on hybrid aspen, whose genome they have helped mapping. Photo by courtesy of UPSC.between polymers locked in the cell walls of trees. Their aim is to design a tree, in this case a hybrid aspen, which has superior qualities for making paper and second-generation renewable transport fuels, such as bioethanol.
Because of their wide range of applications in natural and synthetic materials, polymers* are a favourite target for research among bioenergy scientists. Great efforts have gone into trying to separate the desirable cellulose--a (polysaccaride) carbohydrate that is a main component in paper and other materials based on woody biomass--from other, less malleable polymers contained in the walls of tree cells, such as lignin.
Manufacturers applying to receive government support or to have the production or consumption of their biofuels count towards mandatory national renewable energy targets should meet the RED criteria from 2009, a statement from the EU executive said.
The European Commission recently published its second-to-last round of calls for proposals of projects under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research, setting aside some €7billion to “kick-start innovation through research”, the European Commission said 19 July.
In terms of so-called “cooperation” projects, which are to include stakeholders from industry, academia and research organisations, €235 million has been set aside for energy projects, while €313 will go into transport ones and a hefty €488 into nanotechnologies.
As part of the B4E platform that does research on catalysis and separation of forest-sourced biomass, Kordás specialises in the synthesis and application of photocatalytic nanomaterials. Some of his recent research has potential applications for water purification, abatement of volatile organic compounds or conversion and reduction of carbon dioxide, he said when B4E researchers met in Lövånger in May.
“Materials of photocatalysis find use also in conventional catalysis, chemical sensors and nanoelectronics”, according to Kordás.
Kordás is an assistant professor at Umeå University. In addition he is affiliated with the University of Oulu, Finland, where he holds a senior lectureship in nanotechnology and is a chief assistant at the Microelectronics and Materials Physics Laboratories, at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering.
Centre: Máire Geoghegan Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. Photo by courtesy of the European Commission. Energy, environment and biotechnology are three chief themes of the Seventh Framework Programme for research of European Union, which is about to launch fresh round of calls for funding proposals this month.
A month later, Umeå University and local and national partners are sponsoring a week of workshops, 22-26 August, across the ten FP7 thematic areas. Biotechnology, energy, transport and environment figure promptly among these.
Given at the on-campus premises of the university’s Grants Office, the week kicks off 22 August with funding experts explaining the design of calls for EU research proposals in the agriculture and biotechnology sector. Tuesday 23 August is slated for a discussion on calls that concern nanotechnology and materials research and development, followed by such that pertain to energy and the environment 24 August. Finally calls for proposals in the area of transportation are dealt with Thursday 25 August.
Traditional biogasifier. Source: Google Images 27/6/2011.The focus of the Swedish Gasification Centre that opened this year will be to develop fundamental science to underpin forest-sourced biomass gasification technology, a group of ten scientists heard as they met this month at Solander Science Park, at Piteå, Sweden, to outline the centre’s work programme for the next two years.
However, said centre director Rikard Gebart, researchers would also cooperate with SFC industrial partners, notably on problems or “weak links” in industrial gasification processes identified by Sweden-based technology development or forestry companies such as Chemrec, Holmen Skog or SCA.
“We are a scientific and not a [consultancy-based] research programme. We want to be [doing] more fundamental [science] than applied”, Gebart told core group of ten scientists, a handful of whom participate in SFC as Bio4Gasification. B4G is an extension of Bio4Energy that specialises in research and development (R&D) of biogasification technology.
Joakim Lundgren has been appointed Bio4Energy's coordinator in f3.Sweden's uniting force for research on fossil-free fuels since February 2011, f3, has launched its first call for proposals for small-scale research projects between its partner organisations. Research to advise political decision making or to provide a systems’ perspective to an ongoing project is most in demand. So too are projects which will deliver results by the end of next year.
This first-ever round of funding from Swedish Knowledge Centre For Renewable Transportation Fuels—which acronym f3 stands for “fossil-free fuels”—is set to go towards projects that bridge two or more of its five core areas and cost “less than” SEK1 million to implement, according to the text of the call, forwarded to f3 partners.
Antonio de Guilio said a strategy on the bio-based economy would be proposed in November. Photo by courtesy of the European Commission.EU focus. Stakeholders to a future European Union strategy on the “bio-based” economy appear to have given the thumbs up to the Europen Union bid to encourage resource efficiency and job creation in the €2 trillion-strong sectors that derive their products from biomass, a European Commission official has suggested.
This carries relevance for organisations such as Bio4Energy, since acceptance by society for the development of tailor-made products say, by genetic modification or using nanotechnology, is seen as being key to the success of organisations involved in research and development in these fields, especially if they depend on large-scale use of natural resources.
Speaking in Brussels at the Commission’s annual Green Week conference, Dr Antonio Di Guilio, of the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, outlined the EU executive’s plans for a forthcoming communication on a ‘European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable bio-based economy by 2020’ expected for release in November.