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Bio4Energy Celebrates its 100th Thesis Defence by PhD Student

MojtabaNobandegani ThesisDef 400pxBio4Energy deputy programme manager Elisabeth Wetterlund congratulates Mojtaba Nobandegani with a bouquet of flowers at his thesis defence, 22 April 2022 at Luleå, Sweden. From left: Liang Yu, Elisabeth Wetterlund, Mojtaba Nobandegani and Jonas Hedlund; all of Bio4Energy at Luleå University of Technology.The Bio4Energy research environment is celebrating its 100th thesis defence by a PhD student.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Luleå University of Technology (LTU) receives the honour of being the 100th advanced student to pass his doctoral degree as part of the Bio4Energy cluster.

His thesis Adsorption and mass transport in zeolite membranes is part of the research efforts of the platform Bio4Energy Chemical Catalysis and Separation Technologies.

Education and training are a central mission for Bio4Energy, alongside research and development.

The Bio4Energy programme managers and coordinator for education extend their congratulations to Nobandegani and his supervisor professor Jonas Hedlund of LTU.

Easter Greetings from Bio4Energy

YellowEasterLilies AnnaStrom2022 400pxYellow Easter lilies bending slightly to a spring rain. Photo by Anna Strom ©2022.Bio4Energy would like to wish its researchers, industrial partners and all stakeholders a Happy Easter.

Researchers, please know that the registration for the Spring 2022 Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting will open shortly after the Easter holidays. 

Stakeholders, we will be having new Strategic Projects to announce to you this spring. They are designed to promote original and innovative research and development projects between the partners in the Bio4Energy research environment. Only proposals that are deemed to promote a "new" line of research are granted.

We very much look forward to keeping in touch during the rest of 2022,

The Bio4Energy Programme Managers and Communications

Change of Leader at Bio4Energy Environment, Nutrient Recycling

StinaJansson NilsSkoglund flipped AnnaStrom2022Incoming Bio4Energy platform leader Nils Skoglund accepts a relay baton—a piece of wood—from outgoing platform head Stina Jansson. Photo by Anna Strom©2022.The research and development platform Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling has a new leader as of March 2022.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., associate professor at Bio4Energy host Umeå University, is taking over the platform leadership from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who has the same title and affiliation, as she takes on more responsibilities for her home department.

The appointment has the blessing of the Bio4Energy Steering Group and Board.

“I am happy to take on this role and look forward to shouldering the responsibility”, Skoglund said.

As all seven Bio4Energy R&D platform leaders, he has a substantial science background; including in Chemistry, Biology and Earth Sciences; and holds a PhD in Energy Technology with specialisation in Thermal Process Chemistry. One of his focal areas is the recovery of phosphorus from biomass ash or organic waste.

He welcomed the confirmation of the continued funding by the Swedish government of the Bio4Energy research environment, which will continue at least until 2024. This would allow the platform to focus its work on medium-term goals, he said.

Read more: Change of Leader at Bio4Energy Environment, Nutrient Recycling

Long-running Quinoa Project Hits Milestone with Classification of New Bacterium

Salar de Uyuni CourtesyCarlosMartínScientists of the Quinoa Project on Salar de Uyuni salt flat, on the Andean Altiplano. From left: Katherine Marín, Carlos Martín, Leif Jönsson, Cristhian Carrasco and Juan Carlos Peñaranda Orozco. Far right is Diego Chambi, main author of the scientific article that outlines the identification, classification and characterisation of a new bacterial strain. Photo by courtesy of Carlos Martín.A long-running research project designed to create the conditions for making renewable fuels, chemicals and pesticides from residues of the agricultural crop quinoa; grown in extreme environments; has hit a major milestone.

Bio4Energy’s long-running ‘Quinoa Project’, started in 2017 by scientists in Sweden and Bolivia, not only has expanded to a multi-partner effort, but also has classified and provided a detailed map of characteristics of a previously unknown bacterium that can be at the base of high value-added biorefinery products.

This bacterium lives on the Andean Altiplano, or high-altitude plateau, of the great mountain range straddling Bolivia and a number of other South American countries. To protect itself from the intense sunlight and high salt concentration of its environment, it produces a type of polymer (a base component of many living organisms), which the scientists believe can be at the base of a number of high value-added biorefinery applications. It is this "exopolysaccharide" polymer that can become use products down the line.

"We believe that this type of polymer will be useful for producing products of high market value. We can think about applications such as fine chemicals, medical materials and food additives", said Carlos Martín Medina of Umeå University, Sweden; who shares the project leadership with Cristhian Carrasco of the Bolivian Universidad Mayor de San Andrés.

Read more: Long-running Quinoa Project Hits Milestone with Classification of New Bacterium

Starting Soon: Advanced Training on Innovation, Development of Biofuels, Chemicals, Materials

Bio4Energy is announcing the start of its flagship training course Biorefinery Pilot Research early April 2022.

It is one of two must-take courses for advanced students interested in innovation and development of advanced biofuels, chemicals and materials from wood or organic waste.

The application opens today and will close 15 March.*

Biorefinery Pilot Research is part of the Bio4Energy Graduate School on the Innovative Use of Biomass. It is for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and industry professionals who want to develop their understanding of the innovation and development process.

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Read more: Starting Soon: Advanced Training on Innovation, Development of Biofuels, Chemicals, Materials

Bio4Energy Part of New Multi-partner Project to Create Biorefinery for Organic Waste

Bio4EnergyNaserTavajohiLab Bio4Energy2022Naser Tavajohi and his student researchers are part of a new project to create a biorefinery starting from biogas-making operations. Photo by courtesy of Naser Tavajohi (edited by A.S.). is part of a new multi-partner project to create a biorefinery for organic waste—with end products such as bio-based plastics, animal feed, “green” chemicals, biofuels and higher alcohols (Fusel oil)—in a two-step process.

If successful, the result could become a trendsetter concept for how to create a virtually waste-free system of making the said commodities, but as bio-based alternatives to their current fossil resource-based counterparts.

Researchers at the University of Borås in Sweden gave birth to the idea that the concept of biogas making could be expanded to deliver much more than just biogas car fuel, which is produced from the fermentation of food and agricultural waste in an oxygen-free environment.  

In addition to this kind of bacterial break down of organic residues (anaerobic digestion), they want to add two more main processes to reuse all of the contents of the organic waste feedstock. These processes are referred to as 'membrane reactors' and 'biological augmentation', in scientific speak.

The new concept will be tested at “large-scale” research facilities tied to the University of Borås, according to assistant professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who heads up Bio4Energy’s contribution to the project from Umeå University.

Although Tavajohi could not give an exact figure on the envisioned capacity, the scale would be near or at the level of industrial implementation. Consultants from RISE Research Institutes of Sweden were set to assist the academic researchers in some part of the project, he told Bio4Energy Communications in an online interview.

Read more: Bio4Energy Part of New Multi-partner Project to Create Biorefinery for Organic Waste

Large Project on Integration of UN SDGs in Forest Management to Target Genetic Tree Breeding

MixedForest AnnaStrom2022Researchers are starting a project to integrate SDG goals in forest management practices and advocating considering tree breeding as a tool in the adaptation to climate change. Photo by Anna Strom ©2022.An encompassing project is about to kick off with the aim to integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in forest management and climate change adaptation in the boreal belt traversing Scandinavia and Latvia. The state-run Sweden's Innovation Agency Vinnova is set to fund the effort. 

The three-year project, the Swedish part of which is led by a Bio4Energy scientist, will investigate genetic tree breeding as a means to increase growth and resistance to pests and altered weather conditions of coniferous trees, while also exploring the avenue of mixing in broad-leaved trees in boreal forest plantations as a way of increasing the resilience of the forest ecosystem.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  is coordinating the effort involving national research agencies in Norway, Finland, Latvia and the Bio4Energy partner Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), as well as a cross-sectoral organisation representing the value chain of forest products, headed up from Norway.

The volume growth of trees may be increased by one fifth, according to the research proposal, using advanced genetic tree breeding methods. This will also shorten a tree’s growth period to maturity, thus shortening the time between plantation and harvesting.

“The analyses [currently available] assessing sustainability goals have not acknowledged the impact of tree breeding and different regeneration methods on growth and resilience of forests and the quality of wood produced”, the proposal says;

“Effects of climate change on forests can be mitigated by tree breeding and optimal deployment, if most crucial changes in climate can be predicted and the genetic basis of adaptation to climate understood”.

Read more: Large Project on Integration of UN SDGs in Forest Management to Target Genetic Tree Breeding

Season Greetings from Bio4Energy

SmokeIsFire AnnaStrom2021After a very cold start to winter in northern Sweden, Bio4Energy is gearing up for Christmas. We wish to greet you warmly. Photo by Anna Strom©2021.Dear follower,

It has been quite a year. You, we and most people have been feeling it.

At Bio4Energy, the management troika that took office early 2020 have been soldiering on to convince our partner universities and influential people in the bio-based sector, gathered as the Bio4Energy Advisory Board, that the research environment deserves to keep delivering world-class research and development on biorefinery from wood or organic waste beyond 2022. Next year is the last of Bio4Energy’s second five-year programme period funded by the Swedish government.

Luckily, the 200 and some Bio4Energy scientists and their advanced students have kept delivering results, some of which are featured in our last Newsletter of the year, Biofuel for Shipping, Aviation & Road Transport.

Moreover, Bio4Energy has added a Research Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who has been a great help in preparing facts and figures, not least about the contribution of and collaboration with industry partners in and with the research environment.  

So, from all of us, to all of you;

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thank you for you loyalty. We hope for your continued support in 2022.

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