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Latest Events

International conference: Lignin - Biosynthesis & Utilisation, Umeå, Sweden
August 24, 2014 (09:00)
Edouard Pesquet, Bio4Energy Feedstock Platform
BioInnvoation General Assembly
August 26, 2014 (All Day)
Jan Lagerström, Swedish Forest Industries' Federation; Stellan Marklund, Bio4Energy Programme Manager
Nordic Biogas Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland
August 27, 2014 (09:00)
Energy Technology Centre at Piteå 25-year Anniversary, Piteå, Sweden
August 29, 2014 (10:00)
Magnus Marklund, Bio4Energy Thermohemical Platform and ETC at Piteå
Bioenergy from Forest Conference, Helsinki, Finland
September 15, 2014 (09:00)
View full calendar

In the Press



For plant biomass, size and age beat climate, Futurity/University of Arizona

Bio4Energy cooperation partner: EU-miljoner till biogasen i norra Sverige!, Biofuel Region

Elevance and Genting to Collaborate on New Biorefinery, Paint & Coatings Industry Magazine

Bio4Energy partners in two of three projects: 1,9 miljarder till svenskt bioenergiprojekt, Swedish Energy Agency

Feature: Overcoming adversity, Biofuels International

Moving towards a circular economy, Green (Living) Review

Europen Comission stakeholder consultation: Have your say on the future of science, IP Frontline

‘New Products from Forests’ – Open Seminar at Umeå by Biofuel Region & Bio4Energy in April Print E-mail
Written by Anna Strom   
Monday, 24 February 2014 19:21

Torrefied wood 24214Roasting biomass as a pre-treatment method, torrefaction, will be discussed at a 9 April public seminar at Umeå, Sweden. Photo of torrefied wood published with permission.

In April, Biofuel Region and Bio4Energy will host at seminar at Umeå, Sweden, to give a snapshot of the latest advances in research and development (R&D) concerning New Products from Forests - Supply Chains and Biorefinery Processes. The seminar, planned for 9 April at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, will be open to all those interested in what energy and material technologies may be put forward as a realistic alternative to those based on products based on refined fossil oil.

Since the co-hosts Bio4Energy and the Biofuel Region project Forest Refine both start from woody raw materials when conducting R&D, the focus will be on methods that could set Sweden and similar countries and partners a step closer to realising commercial biorefinery operations—producing advanced biofuels and “green” chemicals”—in an efficient and a sustainable way. This is their contribution to developing a bioeconomy, to replace at least a part of the current one, heavily dependent on fossilised carbon for energy and other products.

For Bio4Energy’s part, the seminar will be an opportunity to provide an update on the much-touted biomass pre-treatment method which employs roasting as a means to wring the moisture and further undesirable elements out of woody biomass, turning it into a brittle and light-weight product which is easy to transport, store, handle and—not least—use to produce heat, electricity or as an intermediate step to making “green” oil with properties similar to those of fossil-derived crude.

A newly patented method for taking efficient bioethanol production to a near industrial scale will be described, as well as the possibility of combining it with a process to rid the same of undesirable waste products. To finish, Bio4Energy’s popular Graduate School for PhD students—which first Biorefinery Pilot Research course concluded in November 2013—will be explained and discussed.

Registration is available under this link.

A full programme will be posted in the Upcoming Conferences or Coursework section of the Research page of this website.

A seminar announcement in Swedish is available on the website of Umeå University.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014 14:31
Bio4Energy to Open Popular ‘Pilot Research’ Course to Students from Non-member Organisations - Video Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 19:02


After a successful first run of its Biorefinery Pilot Research course in 2013, Bio4Energy has decided to give PhD students outside the B4E cluster the possibility to enroll in it when it is given again this year.

SP Processum logotype PNG

The course is one of several in the Bio4Energy Graduate School, launched in November 2012, to fill a void in Sweden's higher learning system. It is designed to give student researchers—previously only those affiliated to B4E—the opportunity to learn about and engage in the work at some of Sweden’s most high-technological biorefinery pilot and UmU Logodemonstration units.

“Since the course was well received by students and industry alike, we are disposed to let at least two students  from outside Bio4Energy take part”, according to Ulrika Rova, coordinator of the Bio4Energy Graduate School.

etc-loggaslu logo rgb web“There is no other course in Sweden that takes a close look at operations at these pilot units. This is why we have chosen to open [the 2014 application] to external students. [In the Bio4Energy Graduate School] we offer two unique courses which mirror the Bio4Energy research environment. Apart from the focus on techniques for biorefinery production there is a course in system analysis, Systems Perspectives on Bioresources, said Rova, professor at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden.

Researchers Find 'Handle' with Which to Control Wood Growth, Density Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 14:30

Hybrid aspen WAT1 006An international research team located a gene which could allow them to control auxin hormone distribution in the cells of stem wood. Pictured is an early experiment by Bio4Energy researchers using the new knowledge to breed hybrid aspen. Photo by B4E.

An international team of scientists have realised a breakthrough which paves the way for researchers to start controlling growth and density in trees bred for bioenergy production, such as hybrid aspen.   

Bio4Energy researchers involved said the findings meant they now had a "handle" with which to manipulate the transport of the plant hormone auxin in wood producing cells found in the stem of trees. Their peer-reviewed article has been published in the well-respected scientific journal Nature Communications.

There appears to be agreement in the scientific community involved in research focused on plants which have a similar make up to wood that the hormone auxin is a regulator of plant growth. Yet, the international research team says in its new article, so far all attempts at regulating the kind of auxin transport in wood that could influence the wood's make up have failed.

That may be about to change, however. The team, led by Deborah Goffner of the University of Toulouse, succeeded in locating a protein which task is to transport the auxin through the growth stages of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. B4E researcher Urs Fischer said this WAT1 protein, as it has been named, could be a key to unlock the research community’s past unfruitful attempts at inducing more rapid growth or further densification of wood.

Bio4Energy Researchers Behind New Method for Cost-efficient Ethanol Making Print E-mail
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Written by Anna Strom   
Thursday, 05 December 2013 17:55

JackSaddler 1113Renowned researcher Jack Saddler from the University of British Columbia, Canada, came to Sweden to evaluate and celebrate the new results on the biorefining of lignocellulose. These were contained in a doctoral thesis by Adnan Cavka, Bio4Energy researcher at Umeå University. Photo by Bio4Energy.

Bio4Energy researchers have invented a method for making ethanol from cellulose from trees using enzymes, which is designed to reduce costs and so to provide for industrial production of bioethanol on a commercial scale. The process has been patented and means the patent holder, the Swedish clean-technology company SEKAB, has a new energy-efficient method to integrate with the technologies it has been using in its efforts to scale up production of bioethanol from woody raw materials at the Sweden-based Domsjö Fabriker biorefinery of Aditya Birla.

The research results also include a further attempt at cost cutting and reduction of the environmental impact of producing bioethanol. Instead of drawing on enzymes made in a synthetic medium, which are often expensive, the researchers tried several ways of making enzymes themselves, by letting a type of filamentous fungi feast on biorefinery waste streams such as fibrous sewage sludge or stillage. The latter takes the form of a dark brown liquid broth, smelling of a coniferous tree’s sweet resin, with notes of acidic vinegar and burnt sugar. Lead researcher Adnan Cavka, of the B4E Biochemical Platform, said that the type of fungi used might not be the best suited one for the purpose, but that the researchers wanted to “try and see if it worked”.

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.

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