Umeå University

  • Bio4Energy Thesis Defence: Mixed fuels composed of household waste, waste wood, Umeå, Sweden

    PhD student Mar Edo Giménez will be defending her thesis Mixed fuels composed of household waste and waste wood - Characterisation, combustion behaviour and potential emissions

    Time and place: 9 a.m. at Umeå University, KBC Building, room KB.E3.03
  • Bio4Energy Thesis Defence: Particle emissions from residential wood and biodiesel combustion, Umeå, Sweden


  • Bio4Energy Thesis Defence: Pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulose, Umeå, Sweden

    Full title: Pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulose: formation and effects of pseudolignin
  • 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. 
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 Fellows Presented, Umeå, Sweden

    Thursday 1 December 11.00, and 13.00-15.00, KBC Stora hörsalen KB.E3.03 (KB3B1)

    The Kempe Foundations Board will visit KBC and celebrates

    5 years of  Gunnar Öquist Fellows

     

    At 11:00 : Presentation  of the new Gunnar Öquist Fellows 2016

    Everybody is cordially invited to participate..

     

    More information:

    http://www.umu.se/english/about-umu/news-events/calendar/display-page?eventId=14767

    http://www.umu.se/english/about-umu/news-events/calendar/display-page?eventId=14768
  • High-level visit from Heilongjiang to Umeå University, Bio4Energy, Umeå, Sweden

    High-level visit from Heilongjiang to Umeå University, Bio4Energy
  • Hur kan innovationsprogrammet RE:Source bidra till utveckling av resurs och avfallsområdet?, Umeå, Sweden

    Time: Monday 10 October 10:30 a.m.

    Place: N220 Natural Sciences Building, Umeå University

    Speaker:Evalena Blomqvist,SP in Borås/Gothenburg

    Title:Hur kan innovationsprogrammet RE:Source bidra till utveckling av resurs och avfallsområdet?

    Host: Stina Jansson, Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling

  • KBC Days, Umeå, Sweden

  • LCA Appropriate Tool for Assessing Environmental Impact of Forest Products, But Beware of Uncertainties

    Frida Royne Photo by FRSystem analysis student in Bio4Energy Frida Røyne will be defending her PhD thesis on LCA and forest products 22 April at Umeå, Sweden. Photo by courtesy of Frida Røyne.A well-known method for assessing the environmental and climate change impacts of products over their life-cycle is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Forest products are no exception in this respect. However, while there has been rising interest in applying LCA to check the impact of forest products designed to replace similar ones refined from fossil oil, in the last decade a discussion has been ongoing about how to account for greenhouse gas emissions and from which sources.

    LCA is one of the most commonly used methods for environmental life-cycle assessments, but the correctness of an assessment's outcome relies heavily on the researcher's choice of method in designing his or her study, as well as the availability of relevant input data.

    Tomorrow, a Bio4Energy student who has dwelled into both these issues will be defending her thesis on Exploring the Relevance of Uncertainty in the Life Cycle Assessment of Forest Products.

    Part of the new research and development platform Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Umeå University used recent cases studies—such as a "Forest Chemistry" project in which chemical and forestry industry in Sweden joined forces to try to assess whether a chemical industry cluster at Stenungsund could feasibly replace part of its fossil raw material base with forest-sourced feedstock—to draw conclusions as to whether LCA is a suitable method by which to assess forest products. However, being a generalist and employed by the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Røyne also was interested in looking at the development of LCA as a method of systems analysis, its potential flaws and the way in which these were being communicated.

    Her chief conclusion is that LCA is indeed an appropriate method for assessing the environmental and climate change impact of forest product systems, but that the use of additional methods—such as life-cycle management or scenario analysis—may be warranted and that, in each individual case, researchers have to ask themselves whether there are uncertainties and discuss these in their studies.
  • Mixed Biofuel Could Help Put Refuse to Use, Reduce Harmful Emissions

    Waste collage Pic cred MarEdoAre mixed combustion fuels, based on different types of waste and designed for specific purposes, a thing of the future? Photos by courtesy of Mar Edo.In Sweden, toxic emissions to air from incineration of domestically-sourced municipal solid waste are generally well controlled. Moreover, in accordance with the waste hierarchy adopted by the European Union in its 2008 Waste Framework Directive, re-use and recycling are favoured above recovery. Sweden thus manages to do away with about half of the total 4.4 million tonnes of waste generated annually by its households, institutions and commercial actors before the incineration option is put to use.

    However, heat recovery and electricity generation following waste incineration has become a business and the country has the capacity to burn more household waste than the 2.3 million tonnes that its citizens supply. In 2015 alone, 1.3 million tonnes of waste were imported, mainly from other European countries, and used for such waste-to-energy recovery. And when waste becomes an industry in itself, there are bound to be actors out there thinking about how to make it cleaner and finding new uses for the refuse by integrating different technologies.

    For instance, staff at Vafab Miljö, a Swedish regional waste utility, have been working with Bio4Energy researchers to find ways to blend household waste and recovered wood, learning about the mixtures behaviour as a feedstock by studying its properties and testing various mechanical pre-treatments and turned the mixed waste into fuel. In the project, carried out in collaboration with Bio4Energy partner Umeå University's Industrial Doctoral School, PhD student This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has evaluated a range of fuel blends.