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Latest Events

SEE Västerbotten Sustainability Week, Umeå, Sweden
September 15, 2014 (09:00)
SP Systemanalys forskningsforum, Gothenburg, Sweden
September 23, 2014 (All Day)
Johanna Berlin, SP and Bio4Energy Environmental Platform
Bio4Energy Steering Group Meeting, by phone
September 23, 2014 (10:00)
Stellan Marklund, Bio4Energy Programme Manager
Biotechnology Namibitech, Ifrane, Morocco
September 26, 2014 (08:00)
Jyri-Pekka Mikkola, Bio4Energy Catalysis and Separation Platform
View full calendar


Bio4Energy on Twitter

@Bio4Energy - No retweets here
#Skogsriket uppmärksammar Bio4Energy och konferensen Lignin 2014. Världsledande forskning om produkter från skogen! … 1:15 pm - 11 Sep 2014#     ·
#Is the use of lignin, a plant polymer, as a substitute for petrochemicals in products ready to take off? 1:14 pm - 10 Sep 2014#
#Vetenskapsradion täcker konferensen Lignin 2014! Lyssna till P1 nästa vecka; reportaget kommer troligtvis på torsdag. 7:48 pm - 27 Aug 2014#
#Guro Elise Fredheim is telling Lignin 2014 Borregaard uses lignin products to make binders, dispersants, concrete &... vanilla flavouring! 5:18 pm - 27 Aug 2014#
#Want to see who is at the Lignin 2014 conference at Umeå, Sweden? Have a look here: 4:40 pm - 26 Aug 2014#
#Håll i er allihopa: Imorgon börjar industridelen av konferensen Lignin 2014! Kan vi göra högvärdiga produkter av trädpolymeren lignin? 4:26 pm - 26 Aug 2014#           

#Lignin 2014 has started! Leading researchers Noritsugu Terashima and Niko Geldner presented this morning. Norman Lewis to speak on lignans. 1:12 pm - 25 Aug 2014#

#Konferensen Lignin 2014 i Umeå har nu 155 och gräddan inom forskning och utveckling kommer! Kommer du?  1:34 pm - 19 Aug 2014#
#Biorefinery products from lignin? Join Lignin 2014 in Sweden & get the latest from top scientists and developers! 3:08 pm - 8 Aug 2014#
#Ligninkonferens samlar eliten inom forskning och utveckling i Umeå - . Registrera er innan 9 augusti. Välkomna! 12:14 PM - 7 Aug 2014#
#Join science forerunners and developers in industry at the Lignin 2014 Conference--24-28 August, Sweden, @Lignin2014. 4:26 pm - 1 Aug 2014#
#Bio4Energy just joined Twitter! We are a research environment developing sustainable biorefinery from woody feedstock or organic waste. 6:07 am - 1 Aug 2014#

In the Press

Lignin 2014: Lignin: Ett alternativ till fossil råvara i produkter, Nordisk Papperstidning/

World-leading research from Bio4Energy: Världsledande forskning om nya produkter från skogen, Skogsriket

Bio4Energy partner SP Processum: Forskningsföretag i expansivt skede, Allehanda

Lignin 2014: Lignin – A Possible Substitute for Petrochemicals in Products, Nordic Paper Journal/

Lignin 2014: Framtidens superämne - lignin, Västerbottens-Kuriren

Bio4Energy member organisation: ETC fyller 25 år med ljus framtid, Affärer i

Lignin 2014: Restprodukt med stora möjligheter, Norrbottens Affärer/Piteåtidningen

Lignin 2014: Trädens lignin hett bland forskarna, Lantbruk & Skogsland

Lignin 2014: Lignin 2014 startar i Umeå, Kemivärlden Biotech

Bio4Energy collaboration partner: Jens Nielsen invald i Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien,

Learn About Biofuels Online, WUTC Public Radio


Bio4Energy partners Innventia and BillerudKornäs: Nanocellulosa per produrre carta, Glob Food Packages

Biomass Magazine launches biogas map [over U.S. and Canadian facilities], Biomass Magazine

Fresh 'Eco-innovation' Funds to Bio4Energy for CHP Demonstration in China Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Monday, 25 November 2013 13:00

CHPP site ShaojunXiongFrom left: Bio4Energy researcher Shaojun Xiong, together with WU Jian of the Chinese State Forestry Agency; Lars Atterhem, BioSteam and; HONG Hao, Great Resources. The project partners are pictured in front of the Jilin site for future integrated production of heat and electricity, together with processing of locally-grown mushroom. Photo by courtesy of Shaojun Xiong.

Researchers in Bio4Energy have won funds to carry out the research part of an industrial demonstration project which will see bio-based combined heat and power technology implemented in the Chinese province of Jilin.

Project leader and senior researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Shaojun Xiong of B4E, said the SEK10-million funding would cover two-and-a-half years of assisting Chinese actors—companies and research institutes, coordinated by the China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing—in taking in use Swedish technology for co-producing electricity and heat by combustion of bio-based waste material. The researchers would also help Swedish companies involved fine-tune their technology so as to function efficiently when applied to the locally-sourced raw material, or feedstock, powering the process.

In a proposal for a future phase of the project, for which B4E researchers at SLU, Umeå University and the Luleå University of Technology were seeking financial support, the researchers suggest to upgrade the technology to mimic biorefinery production, Xiong said:

"The purpose of this project is to replace coal with pellets, in an integrated process with local mushroom production. In future this sort of concept can also integrate bioethanol production and other bio-based products".

Funds Awarded Bio4Energy Researcher for Scientific Excellence, Rapid R&D Development Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Monday, 18 November 2013 17:02

MarcusOhman w1113Vice programme manager Marcus Öhman received a Nordea Scientific Price for rapidly building a strong Energy Technology team at the Luleå University of Technology in northern Sweden. Photo by courtesy of Marcus Öhman.

This month a number of Bio4Energy researchers received grants to carry out projects expected to contribute to excellence in science or for having rapidly put in place part of a research environment intended to produce such projects.

Aji Mathew, Florian Schmidt and Hannele Tuominen scored awards worth several million Swedish kronor for scientific excellence, receiving funds from the Swedish Scientific Research Council to develop water purification applications, gauge health effects of air pollution and study the root of a model plant in biorefinery feedstock research, respectively.

In addition, a large Sweden-based bank awarded B4E vice programme manager Marcus Öhman its Nordea Scientific Prize for his efforts in a short time to build a strong Energy Technology research team at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), several of whose members are part of B4E. Öhman received the prize for having contributed to “growth and development” and for being a “good representative” of the LTU, according to a press release from that Swedish university.

“It feels great. It’s an acknowledgement of our energy-related research which we worked [to develop] for many years and a reward for all the work which has gone into doing that”, Öhman, who is a professor at the LTU, said in an e-mail.

He added that he had not yet decided what to do with the SEK100,000 awarded to him.

Wirlwind Tour of Northern Sweden's Biorefinery Pilots Appreciated by Students Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 16:13

Biorefinery Pilot Research participantsPhD and post-doctoral students lined up in front of the Domsjö Fabriker biorefinery at Örnsköldsvik as the second leg of Biorefinery Pilot Research course was held in September. Photo by courtesy of Björn Alriksson/Sylvia Larsson.

As the first course of the Bio4Energy Graduate School draws to a close this week—with lectures and hands-on experimental workshops for the 18 PhD or post-doctoral students who look set to conclude the course Thursday at Piteå, Sweden—students, organisers and industrial actors involved have given the course thumbs up for offering network opportunities and the possibility to learn by doing.

However, looking to the future, B4E could not rest on its laurels and would, once the course was finished, evaluate and compare that which was achieved with similar post-graduate programmes run by others, said the coordinator of the Biorefinery Pilot Research course Sylvia Larsson of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

"The course has been marked by a willingness to cooperate across the board by all involved, including pilot owners and on-site facilitators. All have given it their best effort", Larsson said;

"The students are fantastically talented and wanting to achieve things. The only thing is that we would need more time to socialise. We have not quite had the time for that since we have been going full speed from early to late".

Bio4Energy Flagships Presented on Algea-arginine Production, Biorefinery Pilots, Carbon Separation Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Friday, 18 October 2013 19:18

HansHellsmark SP2Bio4Energy researcher Hans Hellsmark, of the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, is part of a B4E team trying to gauge the role of pilot facilities in biorefinery technology development in a societal perspective. Photo by Bio4Energy.

As the Bio4Energy programme manager Stellan Marklund likes to tell stakeholders to the B4E research environment, an important part of B4E’s mission is to foster the kind of research and development (R&D) which is ripe with promise of technological breakthroughs, but likely will be nowhere near the stage of industrial commercialisation for years to come.

Several such collaborative, cross-disciplinary projects, have received support from the Bio4Energy Strategic Funds. This fund only sponsors projects of the highest academic caliber and which are potentially useful for a range of actors along the value chain of relevant biorefinery products. A Bio4Energy Researchers’ Meeting, 15 October at Luleå, highlighted a few such "strategic" B4E projects.

In this review, B4E Communications has received a helping hand from researchers directly involved in shaping these projects and who gave presentations at the meeting.

Torrefaction Pilot Facilites Inaugrated at Umeå Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 15:57

Torref fac inaug 81013Umea Energi CEO Göran Ernstson and municipality representatives Lennart Holmlund and Elvy Söderström launch the process of setting up torrefaction demonstration facilities close to Umeå, in northern Sweden, by showeling some dirt to signal that the start of constructing the plant. Photo by Bio4Energy.

Bio4Energy researchers and industrial partners yesterday showcased the results of intense efforts to create state-of-the art pilot facilities for a biomass pre-treatment technique which has stirred interest internationally for its ability to produce an energy-dense, easy-to-transport form of ”green” coal.

Situated just off the main university campus at Umeå, Sweden, the torrefaction pilot facilities were opened in grand pomp by Göran Ernstson, CEO of Umeå Energi, the local energy utility, and representatives from the two partnering municipalities of Umeå and Örnsköldsvik, in the presence of just under a hundred invited guests.

These latter had just the time to witness the start up of the pilot before being asked to step outside again, this time to see the municipality representatives Elvy Söderström and Lennart Holmlund jointly digging a shovel into a heap of dirt—erected on a small scene for the occasion, next to a stack of torrefied material and a juvenile Norway spruce tree—in a symbolic gesture to signal the launch next year of the first demonstration facility to scale up the "unique" technology being trialed at the pilot, according to lead researcher Anders Nordin.

Researchers Recommed Use of Cassava Stems for Greater Food Availability, Biomass-for-fuel Yield Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Friday, 13 September 2013 15:06

A new use of the cassava plant—a woody shrub grown in tropical or subtropical regions of the world—could mean an increase in the availability of food, while at the same time providing a new source of biofuel, whether solid, liquid or gaseous, a team of Swedish and Chinese researchers have found. Starch grains in cassava stem SX 913Starch grains seen in a cross section of a cassava stem. Photo by courtesy of Shaojun Xiong.

“Cassava stems have previously been overlooked in starch and energy production”, the researchers, of whom two of Bio4Energy, say in a study freshly published in the online version of Global Change Biology Bioenergy, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Today the cassava plant is extensively cultivated for its starchy tuberous root and is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics after rice and maize, according to online encyclopedias. Being drought tolerant by nature and capable of growing on marginal soils, it is a major food staple in the developing world, providing a basic diet for over half a billion people. Countries like China have turned their interest to cassava for its suitability as a feedstock in bioethanol production.

However, because so many less well-to-do people rely on the cassava—alternatively called manioc, yuca, balinghoy, mogo, mandioca, kamoteng kahoy, tapioca or manioc root plant; depending on where in the world it is grown—biofuel making based on the cassava root could easily been seen as an example of one man’s food being turned into another man’s fuel. This week the European Parliament voted to prevent such displacement of food production, or of land used to grow food or feed, by capping the use of so-called first-generation biofuel in the EU at six per cent of its goal to have ten per cent of final energy use in automotive transport come from renewable sources by 2020.

Possibility for Technology Transfer Emerges at Ecuador Renewable Energy Meeting Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 14:53
Bio4Energy and its partners could be a sounding board and a KentaroUmeki EcaudorREN 713Kentaro Umeki, a biomass gasification researcher in Bio4Energy, tells mainly Latin American renewable energy stakeholders meeting in Quito, in July, about the Swedish energy system and the contribution of Bio4Energy. Photo by courtesy of Kentaro Umeki.
source of technology transfer for Ecuador, as stakeholders in its government and academia prepare to step up action on plans to reduce the heavy dependence of its country's energy sector on hydrocarbons for heat, power and automotive fuels, a B4E researcher has suggested. Technology designed to make two or more energy-dependent industrial processes function smoothly together—such as in a combined heat and power (CHP) operation—or guidance on the way in which to apply system analysis on energy production pathways, could be especially in demand.

This is according to Kentaro Umeki, an assistant professor at the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden. Late July, he described not only B4E, but also the Swedish energy system to a 100-delegate-strong international meeting in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital. It had gathered to shore up renewable energy contacts in view of kick starting the work to realise a “sustainable energy and energy transition” in the oil-producing nation ensconced between its larger neighbours Colombia and Peru, on the northern stretch of Latin America’s Pacific coastline.
Bio-based Technology for Water Filtration Demonstrated in Sweden Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Thursday, 29 August 2013 16:30
This week an EU research and innovation project demonstrated a AjiMathew KristiinaOksman 30813Bio4Energy researchers Aji Mathew and Kristiina Oksman head up an EU-sponsored project designed to make bio-based filters for water purification. Photo by courtesy of the Luleå University of Technology.
technology that will scale up production of a bio-based composite material which, project researchers hope, will be used in future to make filters for water purification. The demonstration was performed at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden, where the material made from biorefinery residue was first put together by Bio4Energy scientists, a B4E expert on nanotechnological applications of bio-based products confirmed.
LTU professor Kristiina Oksman in spring 2012 saw her team’s research breakthrough attracting coverage by media outlets around the world, and revealed that the team’s industrial partner, Domsjö Fabriker of Aditya Birla, was showing keen interest in the new material.

Apart from potentially doing away with the problem of how to dispose of the biorefinery’s waste sludge, commercial production of the new material could mean a viable bio-based alternative had been found to petrochemical or metal-based materials in food packaging liners, the researchers said. However, financial support was needed to take production of the promising product from the laboratory scale to volumes that could start making sense to commercial operators, all the while ensuring the process was cost efficient, Oksman explained at the time.
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