• Bio4Energy Thesis Defence: Three-dimensional Structured Carbon Foams, Umeå, Sweden

    Bio4Energy PhD student at Umeå University Tung Ngoc Pham will be defending his thesis Three-dimensional structured carbon foam: Synthesis and Applications Monday 14 November at 1 p.m. in room KB.E3.01, KBC Building of Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. 
  • Bio4Energy Workshop on Max IV, Umeå, Sweden

  • Biofuel Making via Gasification Most Efficient, But Sector Prefers Drop-ins

    BeWhere Sweden webBeWhere Sweden. Illustration by courtesy of Elisabeth Wetterlund, Bio4Energy and the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels.In a medium-term perspective until 2030, biomass gasification would be the most cost-efficient option for rolling out advanced biofuel production on a large scale in Sweden, a new research report based on energy system modelling confirms. However, attached analysis of stakeholder advice shows, central actors in the sector have turned their backs on biofuel-making options that require large investments.

    Instead, they appear to favour drop-in fuels made from bio-based hydrocarbons, which properties are similar to those of standard petrol and diesel and can be produced in existing oil refineries. Such advanced drop-ins are being made on a pilot scale by Bio4Energy member RISE Energy Technology Center at Piteå, Sweden and their partner Suncarbon. So-called de-polymerisation of the wood polymer lignin could be a basis for this type of process.

    The report, ending a project called BeWhere - Stakeholder analysis of biofuel production in Sweden, is based on an international energy system model called BeWhere, but which has been adapted to national conditions.

  • Biofuels Report from 2013 Government Investigation Available in Short Form

    Forestry residues Photo by Anna StromPotential biofuel? A heap of forestry residue at recreational area on the outskirts of Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo by Anna Strom©.The report Sustainable Transportation Biofuels Today and in the Future—presented in 2013 as part of the Swedish government investigation on how to make road transport "independent" of fossil fuel use by 2030—has been released in a summary version.

    "We wanted to make a short and updated version that was more easily accessible and readable", said co-author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of the Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy Platform. Lundgren, who is a professor at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), drafted the summary together with colleagues at Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3 Centre). 

    Compared with the full report, a few updates had been made regarding the estimate for future sustainable outtake of forestry residues as feedstock for biofuel production, Lundgren said. Moreover, the estimate for annual domestic biofuel production by 2030 had been lowered from 25-35 terawatt hours (TWh) to 22-32 TWh. This was because the estimate for future potential outtake of tree stumps had been reduced, he added.

    The Gothenburg-based f3 Centre published both the report and its summary.

    "f3 took the initiative [for us to draft] the summary because the report we wrote were a couple of hundred pages long. Not something people read in a coffee break, perhaps".

    Both papers are intended to guide researchers and decision-makers working to pave the way for ridding Sweden's transport fleet of its dependence on fossil fuels and meet the country's greenhouse gas reduction targets.
  • Biorefinery Pilot Research

    Biorefinery Pilot Research participantsExtent and credits: 7.5 ECTS                                                Apply Now

    Course coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    On completion of the course, students will:

    • Be able to describe the biorefinery technologies represented in pilot scale facilities within the Bio4Energy infrastructure and know how to get access to them;

    • Be able to explain and discuss models for the roles of academia and functions of technical innovation systems and to critically evaluate real research facility cases based on these models;

    • Be aware of essentials regarding sampling, building of large-scale experimental equipment, fund raising, and intellectual property rights and;

    • Have gained access to interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas through networking activities.

    Dates and locations

    Autumn 2018

    Piteå, Sweden — 28-30 August 2018

    RISE Energy Technology Centre at Piteå, Piteå Science Park

    Örnsköldsvik, Sweden — September

    Processum Pilot Park, MoRe Research, Biorefinery Demonstration Plant

    Umeå, Sweden — October

    Biomass Technology Centre; Umeå Plant Science Centre; torrefaction and algae pilot facilities, respectively

    Final seminar: Umeå, Sweden — November

    Examination and workshop


    The course consists of:

    • On-site demonstration of equipment and technology, lectures and laboratory work;

    • Lectures on essential subjects for large-scale biorefinery or bioenergy research and;

    • A project assignment, typically a case study of a technical innovation system at one of the pilot plants in the cluster.

    Application and prerequisites

    To apply for enrolment in Biorefinery Pilot Research, please click on the link 'Apply Now', at the top of this page. The deadline for applications is 1 August 2018.

    This course is recommended for students with an interest in biorefinery at the PhD or postdoctoral level, as well as industry representatives who wish to learn about research and innovation as carried out at the biorefinery-related pilot and demonstration units lining the east coast of Northern Sweden.

    For enquiries regarding the course content, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Clean-burning Cooking Solutions, Electricity, Being Developed for Africa

    The world needs clean-burning stoves for use in countryside households in third world, the Umeå Renewable Energy Meeting (UREM) 2016heard today. Many such households, for instance in Sub-Saharan Africa, rely on burning of untreated wood or agricultural residues inside the home and in simple appliances with few or no checks on polluting emissions.

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    Although international initiatives such as the Global Cookstove Alliance have made great strides in the right direction, the effect of emissions on human health of particulate matter and soot are still not well understood, Bio4Energy researcher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. told the UREM conference. Boman leads a cross-disciplinary project in which Bio4Energy researchers from Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences collaborate with the Stockholm Environment Institute and African non-governmental organisations, of which the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya, to evaluate current so-called clean-burning cookstoves and develop medium-sized facilities for electricity production in the Kenyan countryside.

  • Clean-burning Cookstoves, Technology for Local Electricity Production to Be Developed for Africa

    CB cookstoves GroupA project for Africa: Christoffer Boman and colleagues will develop a clean-burning cookstove and propose solutions for local electricity production via biomass gasification. Photos by courtesy of Christoffer Boman.Development of clean-burning technology for household cooking and medium-scale electricity production in Sub-Saharan Africa is the focus of a new multiannual project by Bio4Energy researchers in collaboration with African actors, the Swedish Environment Institute (SEI) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

    As the researchers acknowledge in an application for funds to the Swedish Research Council Formas, which has now been granted, almost one fifth of the world population still lacks access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. Moreover, indoor air pollution caused by biomass burning for cooking and heating either using poor appliances or simply building a fire indoors cause about two million deaths per year in Southeast Asia and Africa.

    While great strides have been made by high-profile initiatives such as the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, "many uncertainties still exist regarding the performance of different cooking solutions… [and] emissions from these systems and the relation to air pollution and health effects need to be better elucidated", according to the project application.
  • Conditioning with Reducing Agents Shown to Raise Yields in Advanced Biofuel Production

    CM slurry AS231115Carlos Martín and Bio4Energy colleagues have developed a one-step biomass conditioning-and-conversion process which could bring cost-efficiency to cellulosic ethanol production. Photo by Bio4Energy.Bio4Energy researchers have invented a process which could bring greater certainty of cost efficiency to industrial biorefineries that choose to base their operations on lignocellulosic input materials such as wood from spruce or pine trees.

    Currently the U.S.A. and Italy are among few countries in the world to host industrial biorefineries for the production of ethanol based on cellulose via the biochemical conversion route using industrial enzymes and yeast. However, these biorefineries mainly use agricultural residue as feedstock in their operations.

    While advanced bio-based production is seen as a great opportunity in several richly forested countries in the boreal belt, industrial operators there are up against a practical problem. A large part of the Canadian, Swedish and Finnish forest resource is made up of coniferous tree species whose woody composition is highly complex and requires harsh treatment before rendering its cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin components in separate parts, which is a requirement in most bio-based production. This harsh pre-treatment means toxic elements are left in the biomass slurry resulting from the process, whose impact must be reduced for efficiency to be achieved in the conversion step to fuels and chemicals.

  • Deepening Ties Among Members Focus of Industrial Network Seminar by SP Processum, Bio4Energy

    SP Processum and Bio4Energy gave a joint seminar for the SP Processum member companies and Bio4Energy's Industrial Network, yesterday at Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Seventy-five people from industry, business incubators, academia, research institutes, consultancies and regional and national Swedish authorities came, listened to presentations, workshopped and networked. The focus was on deepening and widening the cooperation between the actors in the network, to uphold and strengthen the position of northern Sweden as a leading region for development of biorefinery based on wood or organic waste. 

    Several speakers took the opportunity to reach out, or even to urge, members of northern Sweden's biorefinery business community to dare to take the step and cooperate to develop innovations.

    One said: "If you think the real reason I am here is to market my offer you are right... We are bringing in new technology and infrastructure and I am asking you: 'Shall we dance?'".

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  • Discovery of Mechanism behind Organisation of Plant Cell Wall Raises Hopes for Biorefinery Development

    EP RES break 17915Bio4Energy researchers Edouard Pesquet and Delphine Ménard in the laboratory at the Umeå Plant Science Centre in Sweden, checking on some of the proteins they found. Photo by Bio4Energy.

    Plant biologists have long tried to come up with a method for making trees produce large amounts of easily extractable biomass for making renewable products such as biofuels and "green" chemicals. Indeed, international conferences such as Lignin 2014 have seen scores or well-respected scientistsbiologists and chemists alikebrood the reasons why successful attempts to increase biomass production have led to the making of sample plants whose stems and branches sag in sad poses or to increased difficulty at the steps of extracting and separating the main components of wood: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.

    Whereas most of these attempts were aimed at trying to increase the production of biomass within the plant cell, a team of scientists based in Sweden and the UK came up with the idea to try to lay bare the processes responsible for the organisation of the cells in the plant's secondary cell wall. Thus the focus is no longer on maximising biomass production, but rather on finding out the exact way in which a plant goes about building its cell walls from within and who is responsible for doing what in that process. The researchers found as many as 605 proteins hard at work, performing specific and mostly non-overlapping tasks to control aspects of the cell wall's organisation such as its thickness, homogeneity, cortical position and patterns.

    "We tried to unravel the processes organising the cell. [What we found is that] the cell wall needs to be placed and organised specifically for wood cells to work. We have identified genes or proteins implicated in the control of this mechanism", said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the Bio4Energy researcher who led the international study published in the well-respected ThePlant Cell scientific journal.

  • Downregulation of RWA genes in hybrid aspen affects xylan acetylation and wood saccharification

    Pawar PM-A, Ratke C, Balasubramanian VK, Chong SL, Gandla ML, Adriasola M, Sparrman T, Hedenström M, Szwaj K, Derba-Maceluch M, Gaertner C, Mouille G, Ezcurra I, Tenkanen M, Jönsson LJ, Mellerowicz EJ. 2017. Downregulation of RWA genes in hybrid aspen affects xylan acetylation and wood saccharification. New Phytol. Online 3 March
  • Dynamic modelling of homogeneously catalysed glycerol hydrochlorination in bubble column reactor

    de Araujo Filho CAI, Wärnå J, Mondal D, Haase S, Eränen K, Mikkola J-P, Salmi T. 2016. Dynamic modelling of homogeneously catalysedglycerol hydrochlorination in bubble column reactor. Chem.Eng.Sci., 149, 277-295
  • Environmental Chemist Wins 'Collaboration Prize'

    Mats Tysklind 516Environmental chemist Mats Tysklind has won an award for having cooperated with partners in academia, industry and with public bodies. Photo by courtesy of Umeå University.A new professor in Bio4Energy since the start of its second programme period 1 January 2016, environmental chemist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has started his mandate by winning a prize for having cooperated successfully with a number of organisations. It is awarded by the Faculty of Science and Technology at his home institution, Umeå University (UmU), and will be handed to him at award ceremony 21 May. Two days prior Tysklind will be giving a public lecture entitled Samverkan – avgörande för utveckling av smart miljöteknik.

    Since cooperation across organisations and disciplinary borders is what Bio4Energy is about, and since Tysklind is part of its new research platform Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, which is task is precisely to provide a system's perspective on processes and products that are developed in the cluster, the award is felt to be timely.

    "During many years we have been making an effort to cooperate widely with different organisations in society. Now that one thinks about it they are incredibly many. Lately we are [reaching out specifically to] organisations that promote sustainable development and green technology and environmental technology. It has resulted in [the university's] investing in a new area of research on Green Technology and Environmental Economics", Tysklind said when asked why he thought he had received the prize.

  • Events' Archives

  • F1000 Recommends Bio4Energy Tool for Cell-trait Quantification

    Urs Fischer Photo by Anna StromUrs Fischer talks up some hybrid aspen plants in a greenhouse at the Umeå Plant Science Centre at Umeå University in Sweden. Photo by Anna Strom©.

    A study by Bio4Energy researchers and partners was recommended by F1000 faculty as an important article in biology. The Faculty of 1000, or F1000, is an international group of academics—faculty members—who have tasked themselves with identifying and recommending the best research output in biology and medicine when it comes to peer-reviewed scientific articles.

    The study by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and others gives an overview of a new package of analytical tools for quantifying large amounts of cellular traits, called phenotypes, in plants such as trees. Using the tools, researchers will be able to extract quantitative data from raw images obtained using state-of-the-art fluorescent microscopy. This has not previously been possible and the researchers expect this feature to speed up the process where large amounts of quantitative information need to be assessed. Hall and Fischer are part of the research platform Bio4Energy Feedstockand affiliated with Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, respectively.

    The F1000 faculty member making the recommendation, David G. Oppenheimer of the University of Florida at Gainsville, U.S.A. stated in his motivation:

    "The authors' method allows segmentation of images obtained by laser scanning confocal microscopy (or other optical sectioning methods of fluorescently labelled material) followed by assignment of cell types using the Random Forest machine learning algorithm.... I expect that this package will be useful for large-scale quantitative trait loci mapping projects or any projects that require quantification of cellular phenotypes for thousands of individuals."

  • Fascinating Plants Day, Umeå, Sweden

    Fascinerande växter – seminariedag om växtforskning i Umeå

    Forskare från Umeå Plant Science Center – Umeå universitet och SLU – berättar om sin forskning. UR Samtiden är på plats och filmar för Kunskapskanalen.

    Populärvetenskapliga föredrag på temat fascinerande växter.

    Kaffe och te i pausen.                             

    Alla är välkomna!

    Program: Torsdagen den 9 mars

    P-O Bäckströms sal (aulan), Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU)

    12.00 Välkommen! Natalie von der Lehr(moderator, frilansjournalist)

    12.05 Hur vet träden att det är höst? (svensk presentation) Stefan Jansson (professor, Umeå universitet) På hösten får träden sina höstfärger och bladen faller till slut men hur vet träden egentligen att hösten kommer? Professor Stefan Jansson vid Umeå universitet förklarar hur trädens kalender fungerar och varför bladen blir gula på hösten.

    12.30 How do plants make plumbing pipes from cells? (engelsk presentation) Sacha Escamez (postdoktor, Umeå universitet) Sacha Escamez will explain how plants utilize some of their cells to build pipe-like structures that allow them draw water and nutrients in the soil in order to distribute it throughout their bodies.

    12.55 Fotosyntesen – ett samarbete mellan cellens energifabriker (svensk presentation) Per Gardeström (professor, Umeå universitet)  Per Gardeström kommer att förklara hur fotosyntesen fungerar för att med hjälp av solljus fixera koldioxid från luften. Han kommer fokusera på samarbetet mellan kloroplaster och mitokondrier som båda är delar av växtcellerna och viktiga för deras energiförsörjning. 

    13.20 Traffic in plant cells – sending cargo the right way (engelsk presentation) Anirban Baral(postdoktor med Rishikesh Bhalerao, SLU) Anirban Baral will explain how different compartments with different functions in a plant cell exchange information and material between each other. He will show with specific examples what happens with the plant when the traffic is not regulated properly. 

    13.45 Chemicals as tools to dissect plants (engelsk presentation) Siamsa Doyle(forskare med Stéphanie Roberts, SLU)  Siamsa Doyle, plant cell biologist, will talk about the use of chemicals that block proteins controlling plant functions. The effects of these chemicals on the plants can tell researchers a lot about the proteins and their roles in plant growth and development. Like this, chemicals can be used to virtually “dissect” plants and learn more about them.

    14.10 Paus och kaffe

    14.40 Getting together: The fungus-root symbiosis in forest tree (engelsk presentation) Judith Felten (universitetslektor, SLU) Judith Felten, group leader at UPSC, will talk about the knowns and unknowns of the fascinating mechanism that allows roots and fungi to form a beneficial relationship (symbiosis). The fungus provides soil-nutrients to the tree and receives photosynthetic sugars from the tree. Like this both partners benefit from each other and stimulate each other’s growth. 

    15.05 Därför är världen grön – om växter och deras försvar (svensk presentation) Benedicte Albrectson(forskare, Umeå universitet) Benedicte Albrectson kommer att tala om hur växter försvarar sig med hjälp av kemiska ämnen. Hon kommer fokusera på en speciell klass av dessa ämnen, som kallas fenoler, och förklara hur hennes forskargrupp analyserar dem. 

    15.30 Framtidens skogsgenetik med gamla fältförsök (svensk presentation) Anders Fries (forskare, SLU)  Anders Fries forskare i skogsgenetik berättar om vad gamla fältförsök har lärt oss om vedegenskaper och vad molekylärgenetiska studier i dem kan lära oss.
  • Feedstock for Biofuel Production: Seminar 6 February at Umeå

    JLB4E RM Oct2016Joakim Lundgren, associate professor at the Luleå University of Technology, heads the R&D platform Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy. Photo by Bio4Energy.Feedstock for sustainable biofuel production. That is what the industry and research community tell us they want more of, of kinds that are economically and environmentally sustainable, as well as socially acceptable. Notably, there have been calls for focusing research and development (R&D) efforts on developing new types of tailor-made feedstock, such as Bio4Energy’s feedstock researchers do when they try to design and experimentally grow hybrid aspen for the purpose of making biofuel or nanocellulose for the production of specific bio-based materials. Many of the Bio4Energy partner organisations are involved in this effort. 

    6 February 2017 some of them will gather at Umeå, Sweden for a seminar precisely on Feedstock for Sustainable Biofuel Production, set in a system analysis perspective and jointly organised the Swedish Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels, Bio4Energy and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

    Feedstock for Sustainable Biofuel Production

    — Feedstock Potentials, Climate Change Impact of Forestry and the Realisation of Forest Biorefinery 

    You are invited!

     Programme and registration

    Click the link above or go to the Bio4Energy Events' page
  • Green conversion of municipal solid wastes into fuels and chemicals

    Matsakas L, Gao Q, Jansson S, Rova U, Christakopoulos P. 2017. Green conversion of municipal solid wastes into fuels and chemicals. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology. 26:69-83, March
  • Gunnar Öquist Fellowship Awarded Bio4Energy Researcher - Again

    KU bio4energy seBio4Energy researcher Kentaro Umeki has won a Gunnar Öquist Fellowship 2016, which grants him funds and the mentorship of well-respected Swedish plant physiologist Gunnar Öquist. Photo by courtesy of Kentaro Umeki.Bio4Energy researcher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., recruited into Bio4Energy in 2011 and placed at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden, last week received an award named for the well-respected Swedish scientist Gunnar Öquist, who is a member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences and a plant physiologist the Umeå Plant Science Centre.

    Funding body the Kempe Foundations supports the fellowship and awards it on an annual basis for the purpose of "supporting young researchers early in their career",according to a press releasefrom the LTU. The Gunnar Öquist Fellowship consists of a SEK3 million (€310,000) kroner award to be used for research activities, as well as a personal prize of SEK50,000 kroner, and the mentorship for three years of professor emeritus Öquist. For the third time since the awarding of the fellowship started five years ago, it goes to a Bio4Energy scientist. Previous Bio4Energy awardees are Judith Felten and Edouard Pesquet, both of the research and development platform Bio4Energy Feedstock.

    "It feels great! It’s a confidence boost and some kind of sign that the LTU believes in me. It shows that I grew in the last five years", Umeki said.
  • Happy Summer from Bio4Energy

    Photo by Anna Strom2016Swedish summer at its best? Photo by Anna Strom©.Bio4Energy is taking a break and will be back in a few weeks. Meanwhile we wish our researchers, partners, friends and stakeholders a great summer—or winter, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere.

    When we come back we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to one or more of our autumn 2016 events:

    23-24 August at Luleå, Sweden: Conference on the Transformation of the Swedish Energy System by the Swedish Association on Energy Economics. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy

    25 October, Umeå, Sweden: Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting – Open to Bio4Energy’s member researchers. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Communcations

    26 October, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden: SP Processum and Bio4Energy Joint Membership and Industrial Network Meeting – Invitations will go out in August. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Communcations

    15-16 November, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden: 7th Workshop on Cellulose – Regenerated Cellulose and Cellulose Derivatives. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies

    Happy summer!