Five 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
Magnus Matisons, Biofuel Region and the Bio4Energy Industrial Network, is a new representative for Sweden on the European Union Bioeconomy Stakeholder Panel. Photo by courtesy of Magnus Matisons.
Ever wished you had a voice in Brussels, to express your thoughts to European Union officials about what the EU should or should not do to promote the transition to a bioeconomy?
If you are in the Scandinavian part of Bio4Energy's network, chances are that you do.
"That's breaking a record", to believe Matisons.
Matisons is a well-known figure in forestry and biorefinery circles in northern Sweden. He has worked both as a scientist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and, more recently, as project leader with Biofuel Region, which organisation works to promote biorefinery development across northern Sweden.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lövfen (centre) and rural affairs minister Sven-Erik Bucht paid a visit to Örnsköldsvik and Bio4Energy partners. Photo by J. Forsberg.Today, Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lövfen, and his rural affairs minister Sven-Erik Bucht, made a flash tour of Västernorrland County, paying visits to partners in Bio4Energy's Industrial Network: SP Processum, Domsjö Fabriker and Holmen Skog.
SP Processum acts as a science partner to a host of member companies in and around the northern Swedish city of Örnsköldsvik.
The visit there follows others to the region by the Swedish energy minister Ibrahim Baylan, who came to meet Bio4Energy at Umeå in November 2014, and his innovation counterpart's participation in the final stages of last year's Innovation Race, in which representatives of companies, research institutes and academia met at Umeå over several days to come up with innovative solutions for realising the bioeconomy.
Sweden's energy minister Ibrahim Baylan told a conference that academic input had been vital for the government's recent Energy Agreement with opposition parties to go through. Photo by courtesy of the Luleå University of Technology.
A conference by Bio4Energy researchers and colleagues on the transformation of Sweden's energy system finished at Luleå last week, with keynote speaker Ibrahim Baylan, the Swedish energy minister, concluding that the recent Energy Agreement struck by the government and parties in political opposition before the summer recess hardly had been possible had the government not consulted widely with academic stakeholders.
The agreement between the ruling Social Democrats and Greens, and the Moderate Party, Christian Democrats and Centre Party in opposition, states that Sweden aims for its economy to have zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and for its electrical power production system to be "100 per cent renewable" by 2040.
The 23-24 August conference, hosted by the Swedish Association for Energy Economics and the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), also heard energy profile Tomas Kåberger, professor at the Chalmers University of Technology, contribute a global perspective and, notably, talking up solar energy as having a great potential of increasing the share of renewables in the overall energy mix. He had pointed to the example of how Germany has kept subsidising solar power installations and how, subsequently, solar panels have become mainstay on German rooftops, according to professor Lundmark.
When we come back we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to one or more of our autumn 2016 events:
Illustration 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.
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.
Bio4Energy 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.
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.
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.