- Written by Anna Strom
Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy has a new leader.The research and development platform
“You could say that our role is to highlight results from the other Bio4Energy platforms [that develop biorefinery technologies] and put them in a system’s context. Conversely, we put research questions and are able to suggest avenues of research for the other platforms. It is give and take”, Lundmark said.
“My focal area is the interface between forest and energy issues, assessing the cost of various uses of forest raw materials and bioenergy”.
Having clinched his PhD at LTU in northern Sweden, Lundmark went onto undertake postdoctoral studies at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Northern Sweden wanted him back, however. Lundmark became senior lecturer at the university from which he had graduated, promoted in 2011 to be a professor.
Bio4Energy was at BioBase 2019, a conference at Piteå, Sweden designed to show the country's progress in the transition towards a bioeconomy and challenges that lie ahead. The 250 attendees were a variety of stakeholders to the bioenergy and biorefinery sector in Sweden and about 10 other countries. Bio4Energy had its own session on Tailored Trees, Improved Growth and New Products – Towards a Bioeconomy.
“We were able to show that we have developed processes and built networks that make us well placed to go into the future. The products in our product portfolio are such that industry and society want”, according to Rova, who is Bio4Energy deputy programme manager and a professor at the Luleå University of Technology.
This month about 45 Bio4Energy scientists and student researchers met at Skellefteå, Sweden, to hear about newly granted, multiannual, beyond state-of-the art projects designed to:
- Grow trees whose wood more easily renders its cellulose, in view of making biofuel or other bio-based products;
- Extract specialty chemicals from bark from connifers;
- Design biochars for specific uses, for instance as absorbent of toxic substances from waste water and to;
- Examine the gas phase of thermal conversion of biomass to ascertain whether phosphorous may be captured and reused.
Bio4Energy researchers unveiled a series of articles describing how to raise yields in biofuel making by decreasing the impact of toxic substances generated in the pre-treatment step of biochemical conversion to fuels and chemicals, by using reducing agents. Their work, targeting advanced biofuel production from woody raw materials—sometimes referred to as the biorefinery of the future—has received a great amount of attention from researchers all over the world.Late 2015,
“Friends and colleagues from all over the world sent their congratulations. Yesterday [25 March] we had received 410 citations. A lot of people have been asking for full-text papers”, a smiling Martín said.
The Bio4Energy researchers meet twice a year to share their latest progress. This time the focus was on chemical catalysis and separation technologies, as well as the pre-processing of woody biomass and organic waste intended as raw material for biorefinery processes. They met 16 October at Umeå, Sweden.
Bio4Energy have succeeded in making a bio-based equivalent of Carbon Black, one of the most widely used carbon-based industrial chemicals. Carbon Black forms when certain heavy petroleum products are incompletely burned, and there is an established process for making Carbon Black from fossil oil products in the petrochemical industry. The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that this material, which takes the form of a colloid, could “possibly” induce cancer and cause respiratory problems in humans.
To the best of the Bio4Energy scientists' knowledge, the "green" equivalent of Carbon Black they have made is the first ever to be developed from pyrolysis oil.
In fact, the researchers at RISE Energy Technology Centre (RISE ETC), at Piteå, Sweden—part of the platform Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies—used pyrolysis oil made from renewable solid biomass in a high-temperature process developed in-house.
In experiments mimicking the petrochemical industry’s main production process for making Carbon Black, they sprayed pyrolysis oil into a reactor at high temperatures and the resulting material—that is, the “green” Carbon Black—was separated from the gaseous stream at cooling.