research grant

  • Announcement of Gunnar Öquist Fellows 2016, Umeå, Sweden

    On Thursday 3 December at 14:00, the Kempe Foundations will announce this year's Gunnar Öquist Fellows in Stora hörsalen in the KBC Building. The awardees will give a short presentation of their research projects. Everyone interested is welcome to join the ceremony and mingle afterwards.

    The award includes a SEK3 million research grant, which may be used freely for three years, and SEK 50,000 as personal funding.

    Professor Gunnar Öquist, Umeå University's perhaps most internationally renowned scientist, has lent his name and will mentor the selected persons. Thanks to his long-standing work at the Royal Academy of Sciences and his many contacts with Nobel Laureates, he has valuable experience in cutting-edge research, which may benefit the awardee.

    This is the fourth consecutive year for researchers to be appointed Gunnar Öquist Fellows. The Kempe Foundations have decided to appoint a Fellow both at Umeå University and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå this year.

    Everyone is welcome to join the ceremony.

    Time: Thursday, 3 December at 14:00 Place: Stora hörsalen, KB3B1, KBC Building





  • Bio4Energy Researcher Made Gunnar Öquist Fellow

    Gunnar-Oquist-Fellows-2015_ASJudith Felten and Olivier Keech received this year's Gunnar Öquist Fellowships. Öquist (left) and Carl Kempe handed over the fellowship diplomas. Photo by Bio4Energy.Bio4Energy researcher at the Umeå Plant Science Centre has won one of two Gunnar Öquist Fellowships awarded today at Umeå University in Sweden. The award sponsored by the Kempe Foundations is a recognition of scientific and personal merit and comes with stipend of 3.05 million Swedish kronor (€330,000). Professor Emeritus Gunnar Öquist, himself a plant physiologist, is said to be one of Umeå University's most well-known scientists internationally. He is also a long-standing member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Every Gunnar Öquist Fellow receives his mentorship.

    "I am very honoured to receive this award", said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who is affiliated with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

    "We were both very surprised", she added on behalf of herself and her UPSC colleague and plant physiologist Olivier Keech who received the second fellowship.

    A cell and molecular biologist, Felten recently has been studying the cell walls of tree roots and fungi and the changes that both undergo as they create a symbiosis referred to as ectomycorrhiza in the soil around the roots of a tree. Ectomycorrhiza is believed to favour tree growth. Giving a presentation as part of the award ceremony, the German-born researcher referred to her area of study as targeting the "secret life that goes on beneath the surface" in forests soils.

  • Improved Biofuel Production Key Theme in Bio4Energy's New Strategic Projects

    Bio4energy cmykFive research projects deemed capable of promoting the strategic development of Bio4Energy, and the type of research and development its members carry out, have been selected for funding in the Bio4Energy’s second programme period. The projects are deemed to be beyond state of the art and to propose a new direction of research within the field of biorefinery based on wood or organic waste. Their project leaders, representing four of the seven Bio4Energy Research and Development Platforms, will be outlining their respective projects at a conference 25 October at Umeå, Sweden. For more, see the Bio4Energy Newsletter of this autumn. Here we list the 2016 Bio4Energy Strategic Projects.

    • Process Improvements for Methanol Production via Catalytic Biomass Gasification
    • Developing Neoteric Ionic Liquids for Enhancing Biomass Gasification to Produce Purified Biosyngas
    • Supercapacitors and High-energy/density Electrodes Based on Carbon Nanofibers from Lignin and Biochar
    • Nanocellulose Membranes and Adsorbents for Gas Separations and Ultrafiltration
    • Recirculation of Wood Ash in Boreal Catchments, Role of Fe-organic Carbon Aggregates and Processes along the Soil Solution Flow Paths
  • Integrated Biogas, New Material Production Focus of New Project

    Forestry residue Photo by AnnaStromBio4Energy researchers will create processes for integrated biogas production from woody feedstock with lignin removal and re-use in different materials. Photo by Anna Strom.Bio4Energy scientists have set out to create a completely new biorefinery value chain, by marrying the production of methane biogas and bio coal based on the wood polymer lignin, in a multi-annual project run by researchers at Umeå University (UmU), Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and their industrial partners Erebia, Blatraden Miljötekniskt center and the forestry company Sveaskog. The Swedish Research Council Formas granted the project funds under its latest call for research proposals on Research for the Transition to a Bio-based Economy, announced last week.

    Projects by Bio4Energy researchers on the integration of power production with biorefinery operations and finding the best source of wood for the production of nanocellulose also were granted funds in the Bio-based Economy call.

    "We are so very happy to be able to carry out these projects. Ours could not have come about if it weren't for the contacts we have had through Bio4Energy and its Researchers' Meetings", said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., vice programme manager in Bio4Energy and a group leader at the LTU.

    Professor Rova is part of the project Integrated Conversion of Forest Residues into Methane and Carbonised Bio-based Materials (INFORMAT). So are a number of other Bio4Energy researchers and together they will attempt to lay the foundation for a completely new value chain in biorefinery by integrating the production of methane biogas from wood and woody residue with lignin extraction and re-use. That is, the scientists will separate out the lignin part of the wood polymer complex at an early stage of the process and use it to make bio coal by subjecting the lignin fraction to high temperature treatment, using hydrothermal carbonisation technology.
  • New Project to Assess Feasibility of Countering Intermittency of Renewble Electricity Systems with Bio-based Power

    BM in ren pow systIllustration by courtesy of Elisabeth Wetterlund.System analysis researchers in Bio4Energy, together with colleagues at partner organisations in Europe, are starting a new project that will deliver assessment tools for the integration of electricity produced during biomass conversion operations into power production systems that currently rely on high shares of intermittent renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar.

    "We want to see if biomass can play the role of balancing out unevenness in electricity production based on a great share of renewables", according to project leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who is an associate senior lecturer at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden.

    Last week, the Swedish Research Council Formas announced its intention to fund the project over two years and which will see considerable exchange of expertise between Bio4Energy at LTU, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. The latter two organisations are based in Austria.

    Several European countries are looking to introduce high shares of electricity made from renewable sources in their energy systems, but face the potential problem of either having to store solar and wind power at a high cost or not having enough in store during extended periods of cloudy weather and low winds or, for that matter, in times of even more extreme weather events.
  • Projects on Next Generation Bio-based Materials, Processes to Start Next Month

    VR grants 21117Bio4Energy researchers will kick off three new projects next month designed, respectively, to make carbonised lignin materials, and chemicals from carbon dioxide and electricity, as well as to create knowledge on nutrient interactions with heavy metal content in biomass ash used as fertilizer.

    This week, the prestigious Swedish Research Councilannounced its decision fund them, along with 322 other top-of-the-line fundamental research projects nationally, on the back of its annual call for proposals on Science and Technology.

    All three projects run over four years. Each are at the leading-edge of bio-based research, expected to pave the way for industrial innovation. In Bio4Energy, they are under the supervision of scientists on two different R&D platforms: Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies and Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling.

  • 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.