Rosario García-Gil, Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstock, received an award for scientific excellence and research collaboration, from her employer Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Photo by courtesy of Rosario García-Gil.
Bio4Energy researcher Rosario García-Gil has been awarded a prize for “exemplary and exceptional contribution of lasting value” for her work as a plant scientist and a research leader at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) at Umeå, Sweden. It comes in the form of a gold medal.
“Right from the start Rosario García-Gil focused on research that can benefit the world around us. Much of it is about tree breeding for increased wood production. She also treats issues of ecology and sustainability. She has built a large number of collaborations to reach her goals”, according to a press release from the SLU.
Surprised but seemingly delighted, assistant professor García-Gil replied to an e-mail invitation from Bio4Energy Communications.
“This is… totally un expected”, she wrote; “but you know, working with excellent people brings the best of you”.
Written by Amanda Gonzales Bengtsson, Stockholm University; Introduction of Associated Member & editing by A.S.
Plants may be modified genetically to recover well after drought, by altering the chemical "code" of the polymer lignin, according to a groundbreaking article by Edouard Pesquet, Delphine Ménard and their international team of scientists. Photos by courtesy of Cheng Choo Lee, Delphine Ménard, Edouard Pesquet and Sepehr Bardi. Stockholm University is gratefully acknowledged. Stockholm, 22 September 2022 A new study shows that we can create and select plants that can better recover from drought without affecting the size of the plant or seed yield, by genetically modifying their lignin chemistry. These results could be used in both agriculture and forestry to tackle future climatic challenges.
Lignin, the second most abundant biopolymer on Earth, represents about 30 percent of the total carbon on the planet. It allows plants to conduct water and stand up right; without lignin, plants cannot grow nor survive.
For long, scientists did not consider that lignin had a “code” like in DNA or proteins. Researchers led by Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences (DEEP), in collaboration with Stockholm University Department of Material Sciences (MMK) and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT); have now challenged this old paradigm by demonstrating the existence of a lignin chemical "code”.
They showed that each cell uses this code to adjust their lignin to function at its optimum and resist stresses. These results are published in the high-ranking scientific journal The Plant Cell and could be used in both agriculture and forestry to tackle future climatic challenges.
RISE held an inauguration ceremony at Piteå to celebrate a large investment into its biorefinery test-bed environments in Sweden. From left: Magnus Hallberg, RISE; Lotta Finstorp, Norrbotten County; Andreas Lind, Muncipality of Piteå and; Anna Malou Petersson, RISE. Photo by Maria Fäldt.
“In the coming years, we at RISE will make an additional investment of 350 million kronor to strengthen our range of test beds in biorefinery and establish a world-class centre for upscaling of processes pertaining to a circular bioeconomy”, said Magnus Hallberg, head of division at RISE Bioeconomy and Health, in a press release.
"This [expansion] will open the door to more exciting strategic collaborations between RISE Piteå and several of the Bio4Energy platforms, so that we can develop even further our knowledge about processing and upgrading of different types of residual streams to renewable fuels, materials and chemicals", according to Wetterlund, professor at Luleå University of Technology.
"The new and expanded ted-bed activities at RISE are incredibly important to the development, upscaling and industrialisation of different biorefinery processes—for Bio4Energy and for Sweden at large", she said.
It gives an overview of the research and development conducted on the seven Bio4Energy Research and Development Platforms.
It hints at the work of the Bio4Energy PhD students, by listing the topics for and names of those who successfully defended their thesis, at the end of their PhD project.
It shows which research teams won a special acknowledgement, in the section for Awards and Commissions of Trust.
There is a section for Media and Outreach.
Last but not least, the Bio4Energy Advisory Board is profiled. It is made up of key people for the bio-based sector in Sweden. It serves to guide the Bio4Energy board and programme managers, in their efforts to make the research environment useful not only to itself, but also to the sector.
New Bio4Energy researchers, bringing the membership count to 225, took the stage; pitching and matching.
The research environment is stronger than ever, taking its collaborations, as well as own education and training to new levels.
Moreover, expect news in terms of Bio4Energy's outreach and online presence to follow in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
Kentaro Umeki of Bio4Energy is part of an academy - industry project designed to develop a ready-to-implement system for phase out of fossil coal use in iron and steel industries in Sweden. Photos of biomass (left) and biochar, respectively; by courtesy of Kentaro Umeki. A project consortium including research groups, technology development companies, plant owners and iron and steel industry; is about to take a large step toward phasing out the use of fossil coal in the iron and steel industries in Sweden.
Thanks to a substantial grant from the Swedish Energy Agency, the partners will be able to deliver a reactor concept and a roadmap detailing the way in which to implement a switch from fossil coal to biocarbon in existing district-heating plants, using fluidised-bed gasification technology.
Whereas fossilised coal is extracted from the Earth’s interior in mining operations, oftentimes transported over long distances and a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions; biocarbon is high-temperature treated biomass from woody residue or industrial bio-based waste that will be sourced regionally by the partners.
In fact, when treated at a temperature range of 500 - 900 degrees Celsius, biomass becomes almost pure solid carbon and earns the name "biocarbon". It is seen as carbon “neutral” under the current regulatory framework and so the expectation is that the new technology will deliver net zero emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas.
Seven-to-nine per cent of global emissions of carbon dioxide hail from iron and steel making operations. In Sweden, where the sector is both an important employer and provider of exports, this figure is 12 per cent.