research and development

  • Prebiotics to be Developed in Science-industry Project

    Bio4Energy researchers with expertise in biochemical conversion technologies and wood pre-processing are at the helm of two new projects to develop prebiotics and commercial fish feed, and fungi and biofuels, respectively, from bio-based starting materials. Both are three-year projects granted in the 2017 round of funding for innovation projects by BioInnovation, a Swedish national platform for bio-based innovations, and have a substantial line-up of commercial companies as partners.

    The first project, called ForceUpValue for short, aims at demonstrating the production of low-cost prebiotics—food or feed ingredients that, once in the gut, induce the growth of microorganisms and which activity can have a positive effects on human health—starting from two abundantly available sources of bio-based feedstock: Forestry residues and a sea-living organism called Ciona intestinalis. The latter is known to have an outer layer, a tunic, rich in cellulose, which the project partners expect to use in the production of prebiotics.

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  • Problem-solving Studies on Biomass Gasification, Waste Water Treatment Enabled by VR Grants

    gallery thumbnailsBio4Energy researchers won funds for water treatment projects. Photo by courtesy of FDP.Bio4Energy researchers have won funds for carrying out scientific studies on reducing soot formation in biomass gasification for making biofuels, as well as two projects on water purification in developing countries. The prestigious Swedish Research Council(VR) announced a number of decisions on research funding this week, with the grants to Bio4Energy's researchers corresponding to the 'Natural and Engineering Sciences' and 'Development Research' categories. Bio4Energy PIs This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 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. were the three happy recipients.

    "It's very good. I would like to develop better [biomass] gasification technology", said Umeki who is an associate professor at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden, who received funding for the project Chemical Interaction of Closely Located Reactive Particles in Gas Flow.

    "We are going to develop tools to optimise gasifiers in industrial scale conditions and a new model that will assimilate [or mimic] the gasification process" more adequately than current models, he explained.
  • R&D Platform Meeting: System Analysis and Bioeconomy, Umeå, Sweden

  • Report on New Method to Map Biomass Properties Receives Praise, but Author Warns Large-scale Testing, Industry Cooperation, Needed

    Mikael Thyrel Photo by Anna StromBio4Energy reseracher Mikael Thyrel has been acknowledged for his work by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. Photo by Anna Strom©.The composition of different types of biomass materials varies widely and may even vary within, say, a single species of wood. This is generally seen as an impediment to the large-scale roll out of biorefinery—meaning industrial operations designed to make a cascade of bio-based products such as biofuels, "green" chemicals or bio-based starting materials for products—since each biorefinery process may have to be adapted to biomass materials from a single source. This is especially true for lignocellulosic biomass, meaning biomass from wood or inedible parts of plants.

    Thus, knowledge about quick and easy ways to judge the properties of each type of biomass is high in demand. Bio4Energy postdoctoral fellow This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has focused his research on such methods, in the pre-treatment step of the biomass intended for use in biorefinery processes. Using sophisticated X-ray fluorescence and near-infrared spectroscopy, he found that the two techniques may be used to gauge the amount of non-desirable ash-forming elements or contaminants and to single out wood chips for their content of value-added extractive substances, respectively.

    While the conclusions of Thyrel's work so far are based on testing on the laboratory scale, this has not stopped the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) deeming it useful and novel enough to grant him an award for "best PhD thesis 2016" for the report in which he sums it all up:  Spectroscopic Characterisation of Lignocellulosic Biomass. Thyrel is to receive a diploma from the hands of the Swedish prince Carl Philip, 28 January in Stockholm and has received a personal grant.

    "As the [biorefinery] industry is trying to start up new methods are needed for the characterisation of biomass. Biomass is heterogeneous in nature. Especially targeted processes for producing chemicals are rather sensitive [to impurities in the biomass]. One batch of wood chips does not look the same as the other. We have to find a way to characterise them so that the polluting elements can be removed or handled", said Thyrel, who works at the Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
  • Researchers' Night 2015, Europe wide

    Den 25 september är det dags för årets Researchers’ Night i EU. Runt om i hela Europa har du möjlighet att ta del av spännande experiment, workshops, prova-på-aktiviteter, vetenskapsshower, utställningar, science cafés och många andra möjligheter att möta forskare. Se vad som händer på någon av de 28 orterna i Sverige och heja fram din forskare i Forskar Grand Prix. Om ForskarFredag »
  • SP Seminar on Nano Materials, Stockholm, Sweden

    The programme starts at 08:30 with coffee and registration. The first seminar starts at 09:00 with a presentation on the pilot facility for nanocrystalline cellulose, a project that SP, Holmen, MoRe Research and Melodea have been working on together. The seminars that follow will look in more detail at how the material can be used in practical applications. The day will finish at 12:00 when we will have lunch together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                               
    A PART OF SWEDEN – BIO-ECONOMY AND NANOCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE AT SP
                                Forest, waterways and agriculture – SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden is working with Holmen, MoRe Research and Melodea on a project that makes the most of Sweden’s strength in new research areas. The pilot facility for nanocrystalline cellulose is expected to be ready to start this year and will make it possible to carry out larger-scale tests on the material.

    Markus Norström, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

                                                       
                               
    BIO-BASED MATERIALS ARE BETTER – COMPOSITE MATERIALS ON A NANO SCALE
                                One of the advantages of bio-based materials is that they do not run out in the same way as fossil materials. It is therefore important from a sustainability perspective that we make the switch. Blatraden has extensive experience of developing new bio-based composite materials, production methods and applications.

    Tord Gustafsson, Blatraden AB

                                                       
                               
    UNIQUE APPLICATIONS OF CELLULOSE NANOCRYSTALS (CNC) IN OPTOELECTRONICS
                                Nanocrystalline cellulose is a material of the future. They have huge possibilities and potential in areas involving electronic and optical components, such as in displays. But what makes nanocrystalline cellulose special?

    Wadood Hamad, University of British Columbia, Canada

                                                       
                               
    NANOCELLULOSE IN FOOD - THICKENER, STABILIZER AND FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENT
                                The range of possible applications of nanocellulose is enormous. One area of use is as a thickener and stabilizer in food. Thanks to its structure, nanocellulose has some exciting properties – how would you like to be able to change how it feels to eat?

    Mats Stading, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Department for Food and Bioscience

                                                       
                               
    LIGHT, STRONG AND POROUS - THE MAKING OF BIOBASED FOAM
                                Shaul Lapidot is one of the founders of Melodea. Their foam material is environmentally friendly and – you guessed it –made from nanocrystalline cellulose. The result is a light but strong and porous foam that can be used in anything from shoe soles to insulation.

    Shaul Lapidot, Melodea, Israel

                                                       
                               
    NATURAL PERFORMANCE ENHANCER IN PAINTS AND COSMETICS
                                For some time now, the Norwegian company Borregaard has been using wood fibres to generate cellulose at the microscopic level. One of the results is Exilva, a microfibrillated cellulose that can be used to increase the performance of everything from paints to cosmetics.

    Ali Moosavifar, Borregaard, Norway

                                                       
           
      World Trade Center, Klarabergsviadukten 70, Stockholm, meeting room Atlanta

            

       

  • Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification Gets Four More Years

    JoakimLundgren Photo by AlanSherrardJoakim Lundgren gives a talk at a 2016 seminar by the Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification. Photo by Alan Sherrard, Bioenergy International.The Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification(SFC)—launched in 2011 to provide coordination of Sweden-based efforts to develop gasification of biomass into a viable alternative to fossil energy carriers—looks set to continue its operations for four more years. The much-awaited announcement came as a the Swedish Energy Agency confirmed its decision in a press release to provide provisional funding for another programme period, from 20 April 2017 to 19 April 2021. 

    “The decision is wonderful news. We are so happy. We have achieved a lot in a short time, six years; and now we can build on it, provide an edge to the technology, according to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who directs the centre since 2014.

    Gasification of biomass, in which lignocellulosic feedstock is turned into synthesis gas and then converted to liquid biofuel or electricity, is taken to be one of the cleanest and most technology-ready options when it comes to renewable alternatives to fossil energy carriers. According to estimates outlined in a government-commissioned package of reports from 2013, one in three cars travelling on Swedish roads could be running on the new fuels in 2030. These could be renewable dimethyl ether, methanol, methane or synthetic diesel.
  • Symposium on Biotechnology applied to Lignocelluloses, Madrid, Spain

    4th Symposium on Biotechnology applied to Lignocelluloses - LignoBiotech IV, in Madrid, Spain
  • Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.

    38th SBFC (Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals), April 25-28, 2016, Baltimore, MD. http://www.simbhq.org/sbfc/  
  • Thermal Treatment of Sludge Could Boost Phosphorus Resources, Solve Waste Problem

    MarcusOhman 2916rsBio4Energy vice programme manager Marcus Öhman will develop a new efficient method for phosphorous recovery from waste sludge, together with colleagues in Bio4Energy. Photo by courtesy of Marcus Öhman.

    Bio4Energy researchers are developing a new efficient method for phosphorus recovery using thermal treatment of sludge from municipal waste treatment facilities or pulp and paper operations. Once implemented, the scheme is expected to provide for a reduction of the risk of contamination of food and feed crops by heavy metals—as well as reduce the problem of how to dispose of toxic waste sludge—and produce an economic benefit for industry. Research leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. said that the technology could be ready for industrial uptake within a decade.

    "We could be at the stage of industrial demonstration of the technology in five years. Then a certain amount of time would be needed for classification of the product. We know that it would be economically beneficial for some [existing] bioenergy operations which use fluid-bed technology to start co-firing dried sludge with [fuel wood]", according to Öhman, who is a professor in Energy Engineering at the Luleå University of Technology(LTU).

    The research and development project, which is the fruit of collaboration between Bio4Energy researchers at LTU and Umeå University, has been several years in the making. Now it can go ahead thanks to a recently announced multiannual grant from the Swedish Research Council Formas.

    Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth and thus for food production. It is extracted by mining in a handful of countries worldwide and its maximum production is expected to peak in the year 2030. After that predictions range from 50 to several hundred years before it runs out. Research is ongoing on a handful of methods for recycling the mineral from sludge, but which either perform inadequately (when it comes to removal of toxic heavy metals present in sludge or to phosphorus recovery rates) or are inhibitively expensive, to believe Öhman.

  • Thesis defence: On dioxin formation in thermochemical conversion of biomass, Umeå, Sweden

    Qiuju Gao, kemiska institutionen, försvarar sin avhandling med svensk titel Bildning av dioxiner vid termokemisk omvandling av biomassa.

    Engelsk titel: On dioxin formation in thermochemical conversion of biomass.

    Fakultetsopponent: Bogdan Dlugogorski professor, School of Engineering and Information, Technology, Murdoch University.

    Huvudhandledare: Stina Jansson.

    2016-04-29 kl. 10:00
  • Umeå Renewable Energy Meeting 2016, Umeå, Sweden

  • Workshop on Regenerated Cellulose & Cellulose Derivatives, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden

    The 7th Workshop on Cellulose

    Regenerated Cellulose and Cellulose Derivatives

    Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, November 15-16, 2016 

    Call for papers

    This 7th semi-annual international workshop is arranged in cooperation betweenUmeå University and Karlstad University and is focused on basic and applied studies in the field of cellulose,nanocellulose, regenerated cellulose and cellulose derivatives. The workshop is sponsored by leading suppliers of dissolving pulps and machinery to guarantee that the workshop will have a mix of academic and applied presentations.

    Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

    Cellulose chemistry and derivatives

    Cellulose structures and composites

    Dissolution of cellulose

    Dissolving pulp preparation and properties

    Nanocellulose, Regeneration of cellulose

    Spinning of cellulosic fibres

    Deadlines for abstracts

    Abstracts of one A4 page are welcome to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. latest May 30, 2016. If the abstract is accepted extended abstracts of max four A4 pages are welcome until October 31.

    Information

    For more information visit www.celluloseworkshop.com soon to be launched

    or contact: Professor UlfGermgård, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Tel +46(0)54 70 01 780 or +46(0)70 32 19 584