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Fresh Funds for Research Granted Bio4Energy Scientists by Formas Research Council

Tree by water AnnaStrom2021New multiannual research projects have been granted Bio4Energy scientist to spur tree growth and purify water. Photo by AnnaStrom©2021.New research projects on bio-based carbon, sustainable energy, nitrogen use in aspen trees and a new system for water purification have just been granted Bio4Energy scientists by the funder Swedish Research Council Formas.

No less than four of Bio4Energy’s research and development platforms are involved in these multiannual research projects of excellence. The projects and project leaders are acknowledged as follows:

- Innovative carbon with low-level ash from sludge: Evaluation of their properties and function in technological and environmental applications (NOVACAR), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling, Umeå University;

- Water, food security and environmentally friendly energy: The greatest challenges of our times, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Feedstock Pre-processing, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences;

- Going towards better efficiency of nitrogen use in aspen trees, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstock, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and;

- New bio-electrochemical system for integrated energy uptake and bio remediation of acid leachate water (BIOeMIND), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies, Luleå University of Technology.

Project on Joint Biofuel, Mushroom Production Attracts Yet Another Innovation Award

FSh CM ShX LA andreaspalmen SLUProject owners Feng Chen, second from left, is next to Carlos Martín, Shaojun Xiong and Lars Atterhem at the Sustainable Innovations' Award ceremony. Photo by Andreas Palmén, SLU.Researchers at Bio4Energy have won yet another award for their groundbreaking project on joint production of edible mushroom and ethanol biofuel.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and student researcher Feng Chen this month accepted flowers, a diploma and a SEK50,000 (EUR4,954) cash award from the newly instated SLU Umeå and Sparbanksstiftelsen Norrland's Award for Sustainable Innovations.

It is the second time this year that the project on joint production of biofuel and mushroom is acknowledged for being an innovation with great potential for industrial commercialisation. In May it hit the so-called 100 List for Sweden-based research projects that have the potential to create value for industry in a “not-too-distant” future, hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Chinese lead researcher Xiong, affiliated with SLU Umeå, is the master mind behind the concept. 

Instead of having to rely on imports, he put forth to Bio4Energy and Swedish funding agencies, Sweden could become a net producer of its own protein-rich shiitake and oyster mushrooms, by having them grow on wood residue which is a plentiful resource in northern Sweden.

While growing, the mushroom would break down polymers in the wood in a way that rendered the extraction of cellulose for ethanol production easy, he said.

Read more: Project on Joint Biofuel, Mushroom Production Attracts Yet Another Innovation Award

Newly Discovered Compounds in Trees Carry Promise as High Value-added Products

Bio4EnergyBurningCandle Anna Strom2021 400pxBio4Energy scientists say that newly discovered lipophilic compounds in wood, once better understood, could be turned into organic wax for making candles, cosmetics or even anti-inflammatory drugs. Photo by Anna Strom©2021. researchers have found a set of compounds in the wood of trees that have “apparently been overlooked” until now, and which the scientists believe could find use as organic wax in cosmetics, candles or as agents in anti-inflammatory drugs. Not only this, but the discovery and mapping of these fat-loving substances might inform the pulp and paper industry on how to avoid problems with clogging of machinery in biorefineries.

The discovery by scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), was unveiled last week as the prestigious Swedish Research Council announced it would fund a three-year effort to lay bare the ways in which these lipophilic compounds, found in the cell walls of trees, behave and interact with other components of the wood and how to extract them.

In fact, the research team led by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstock, will start from the contention that the newly discovered compounds are similar to an already known waxy substance mainly found in the cell walls of cork, called suberin.

“These novel compounds are partially insoluble and partially contained within the extractives—the compounds that can reach ten per cent of wood dry weight”, professor Mellerowicz explained in an e-mail message to Bio4Energy Communications.

Read more: Newly Discovered Compounds in Trees Carry Promise as High Value-added Products

Bio4Energy Creates Presence in Norway–New Professorship for PI with Biotechnology Focus

Bio4Energy                               Ready for new adventures: Researcher Carlos Martín Medina will take up a professorship in Norway, giving Bio4Energy its first presence there. Photo by Anna Strom©2021. is about to have its first solid presence in Norway, with researcher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., native of Cuba, taking up a professorship in Biomass and Bioresources Utilisation at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences at Hamar.

Thanks to continued research funding, Martín will continue to advise a research group at Umeå University in Sweden, whose members belong to the platform Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies.

Notably, an encompassing project on biorefinery production from quinoa residues and capacity building for the bioeconomy; which is a collaboration with the Bolivian Universidad Mayor de San Andrés; will continue for at least another five years.

“It is kind of a dream [that I have] to be a bridge between the research communities of Sweden and Norway”, Martín told Bio4Energy Communications in an online interview. 

Taking up his new position, Martín will also start a new role as a member of a new European Union initiative to promote raw materials for biorefinery based on different types of organic waste.

Read more: Bio4Energy Creates Presence in Norway–New Professorship for PI with Biotechnology Focus

SKF Joins Industry-Academy Platform for Developing Hydrogen Systems for Steel Industry

CH2ESS, LTU, 2021.LTU Green Fuels, an advanced pilot unit located at Piteå, Sweden will be dedicated to the research and development of the Centre for Hydrogen Systems Sweden.Bio4Energy partner Luleå University of Technology (LTU) has started a collaboration platform for academy and industry to develop hydrogen processes and systems for a future steel industry free of fossil fuel use. This week, the global bearing steel maker SKF joined the Centre for Hydrogen Systems Sweden (CH2ESS) and will be contributing funds and take part in research, according to a press release from LTU.

"Mechanical components are very important to ensure the function and operation in future hydrogen systems. Together with CH2ESS and its partners, we can contribute in designing robust, reliable hydrogen systems, with the lowest possible impact on the environment and on total cost of operation. This will not only benefit Swedish industry, but also global technology development for the future hydrogen economy", said Victoria Van Camp, president at SKF Technology.

LTU Green Fuels, an advanced pilot unit located at Piteå, in northern Sweden, is expected to be home to much of the development work. Two Bio4Energy scientists are central to the work at CH2ESS: professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is programme manager and cite manager at LTU Green Fuels is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bio4Energy researchers at LTU also run projects for developing "green" coal for application in the steel industry, so-called biochar. This line of research and development is headed up by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., professor. 

Read more: SKF Joins Industry-Academy Platform for Developing Hydrogen Systems for Steel Industry

Bio4Energy's Flagship Training Is Back on Biorefinery Development via Pilots, Demonstration Units

Bio4Energy’s on-location training course on pilot and demonstration facilities for developing world-class biorefinery technologies is set to start again in spring, in northern Sweden. PhD and postdoctoral students keen on experiencing first-hand the development of tomorrow’s biofuels, “green” chemicals or bio-based materials should apply. The start is in April 2022 and the application will open in January. 

Industry professionals or consultants wanting inside on what it takes to develop successful biorefinery technology past the laboratory stage, via pilot and demonstration trials, are equally welcome to apply.

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“What makes this training unique is the fact that we always have new pilots to show. Students will experience and learn about the entire cluster [of pilot and demonstration installations] spanning the east coast of Norrland. Industry will yet again open their doors to us. You get to experience the working atmosphere and you feel welcome at that”, said course coordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more: Bio4Energy's Flagship Training Is Back on Biorefinery Development via Pilots, Demonstration Units

Blends of Advanced Biofuels with Marine Gas Oil Could Lessen Climate Change Footprint of Shipping in Arctic

Dalia_SDG_CCA new article by Dalia Abdelfattah and colleagues says that blends of advanced biofuel and the currently most used fuel in the shipping industry, may be its ticket to a lesser climate change footprint on the Artic environment. Picture used with permission.Finding a climate and environment friendly alternative to fossil fuels in shipping in the Arctic is turning out to be complex, a pioneering study on the topic shows. The new scientific article also contains evidence that blends of advanced biofuels with marine gas oil currently in use, could lessen the climate change and environmental footprint of the industry.

Bio4Energy researchers have been going full steam ahead with an encompassing project, granted in spring, with new results discussing the environmental and climate change impacts of introducing either biodiesel or bioethanol made from waste from pulp and paper industry in Sweden, as fuel in maritime shipping in the Arctic region.

Both fuels are so-called drop-in alternatives to fossil fuels, meaning that they can be used in current engines or in blends with fossil fuel equivalents, without the need for modification of the existing infrastructure. Both are already in use in the automotive industry, but for road transportation.

“It looks like the best option is to use blended fuels. We are trying to optimise it, to find the preferable blend”, said Dalia Abdelfattah, project leader and a Bio4Energy system analysis researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

The research team have been performing life-cycle assessment studies which show a complex picture of the studied thermochemical routes to bioethanol and to biodiesel, respectively, rendering considerable greenhouse gas emission reductions, were either to replace the heavy fuel oil or marine gas oil in use.

Read more: Blends of Advanced Biofuels with Marine Gas Oil Could Lessen Climate Change Footprint of Shipping...

Happy Summer from Bio4Energy

Happy summer to all the Bio4Energy researchers, Industrial Network, Board, Advisory Board and to each and every stakeholder.


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From the vacation team:
The Bio4Energy Programme Managers and Communications

Read more: Happy Summer from Bio4Energy

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