Decisive Step Taken in Project to Bring Sustainable Bioenergy to Sub-Saharan Africa

Fueling the reactor AnnaStrom2020Robert Lindgren of Bio4Energy fuels the pilot reactor for biomass gasification. Photo by Bio4Energy© 2020.Scientists in Bio4Energy have taken a decisive step in a multi-actor project to provide sustainable bioenergy solutions for people in some of the least well-off countries in Africa, by designing a pilot installation that will produce energy-rich gas and biochar from pre-treated biomass residues.

The construction of the two-metre tall pilot—which is still a miniature version of what a future commercial-scale gasification reactor would look like—is a collaboration between Bio4Energy researchers at Umeå University and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at Umeå, Sweden.

“The reactor makes us able to close the loop, or construct a total system, of upgrading and using residual biomass products from the agricultural industry”, said project leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of the research and development platform Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling.

Boman and his colleague and former student This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., of the same R&D platform, have been championing the project since the outset in 2012, and with funding granted in 2015.

Read more: Decisive Step Taken in Project to Bring Sustainable Bioenergy to Sub-Saharan Africa

Season's Greetings from Bio4Energy

To all the Bio4Energy researchers, the Bio4Energy Industrial Network, Bio4Energy Advisory Board, the Steering Group and Board, as well as all our followers, funders, colleagues in the sector and friends everywhere:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

MerryChristmas Bio4Energy2019A northern Sweden Christmas tree, also known as Norway spruce. Merry Christmas. Photo by Bio4Energy© 2019.

Thank you for all the hard work in 2019! Next year will be pivotal for Bio4Energy as we try win funding for a third programme period. Please keep spreading the message about the work we do to deliver world-class tools and methods for conducting sustainable and efficient biorefinery based on wood or organic waste: Advanced biofuels, "green" chemicals and smart bio-based materials.

From Seed to Advanced Fuels and Chemicals

Bio4Energy Scientists Acknowledged for Work on Biomass Inhibitors in Wood Biorefinery

Leif Carlos Award 2Leif Jönsson and Carlos Martín Medina show the plaque and diploma their research group was awarded for the great interest shown by the research community in their scientific article on biomass inhibitors in wood biorefinery. Photo by InYung Sunwoo.

A team of Bio4Energy scientists and partners have been acknowledged at a prestigious conference for their work to reduce the effect of toxic substances in the pre-treatment of biomass destined for conversion to advanced biofuels made using yeast or microbes to turn wood polymers into fuels.

Their review article, Pre-treatment of lignocellulose: Formation of inhibitory by-products and strategies for minimising their effects, published in the Bioresource Technology scientific journal, has not stopped receiving acclaim since its publication in 2016. At the time of New Horizons in Biotechnology Conference (NHBT-2019)—a conference given in India in November this year—results from the article had been mentioned 560 times in other scientific articles by researchers worldwide.

This made the editorial board of Bioresource Technology decide to award the researcher with a diploma and a plaque for their Highly Downloaded Article 2019.

“It is the most downloaded article steadily during the last two years and the most cited article of Bioresource Technology since 2016”, said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Umeå University and a PI on the platform Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies.

“I think it helped that the review covered all three areas of pre-treatment, formation of inhibitors and strategies [designed to lessen] their effects”, Martín added, “and that the discussion included some new important inhibitors in terms of their effects. That is, compounds that form in small amounts, but which are very strong inhibitors”.

Read more: Bio4Energy Scientists Acknowledged for Work on Biomass Inhibitors in Wood Biorefinery

Projects Granted Bio4Energy Researchers on Integrated Climate Assessment, Membranes for Desalination, Plant Cell Biology

Photo by AnnaStrom2019x400A patch of mainly coniferous forest in northern Sweden, in mid-October 2019. Photo by Anna Strom© 2019.Next year, Bio4Energy scientists will kick off multiannual projects, respectively, on integrated climate assessment of using woody biomass, production of membranes to desalinate sea water and on investigating the “unknowns” of plant cell biology for the ultimate purpose of increasing biomass production. The Swedish Research Council Formas (Formas) or the Swedish Research Council (VR) granted the projects in their respective annual rounds of funding.

What uses of biomass should be preferred to minimise greenhouse gas emissions?

The first project is broad in scope and will require the researchers to use a number of system analysis models. The aim is to find out, starting from sustainably managed forests in Sweden, which type of use of the harvested biomass will maximise efficiency, in terms of using bioenergy instead of fossil fuels for the purpose of minimising greenhouse gas emissions. The findings will serve to guide decision-makers in their attempt to understand what mix of technologies to favour and, consequently, what support measures to propose.

“Understanding the climate impact of different forest biomass paths is paramount for the implementation of appropriate policy measures. The purpose of the project is to improve the effectiveness of reaching the climate targets by advancing our understanding of climate impacts of using biomass, especially trade-offs and interactions of climate effects between the biophysical and economical systems”, says the project grant application.

Read more: Projects Granted Bio4Energy Researchers on Integrated Climate Assessment, Membranes for...

Introducing System Analysis to Bio-based Research, Development

Bio4Energy is on a mission to introduce system analysis to its technology-based research and development (R&D). In 2016, Bio4Energy created a new R&D platform entirely dedicated to the subject. It is called Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy.

So what is system analysis and how can we use it? To know more, look at the presentations from the last Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting, at which about 50 of the Bio4Energy members–scientists and students–met to learn more and exchange ideas on how to check the feasibility of introducing new technology innovations to the market.

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Thank you Bio4Energy researchers, young and old, for your contribution!
22 October 2019 at Skellefteå, Sweden

Attachments:
Download this file (Bioeconomy-and-Market-Impacts_Robert Lundmark.pdf)Assessment of New Technology and Forest Management Systems[Robert Lundmark, Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy]1501 kB
Download this file (Bioenergy-production-from-Swedish-forests_Tommy-Lungren.pdf)Efficient and Sustainable Bioenergy Production[Tommy Lundgren, Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy]746 kB
Download this file (Drop-in-Fuels-via-Thermal-Conversion_Elisabeth-Wetterlund.pdf)Combining Increased Pulp Capacity with Biofuel Production[Elisabeth Wetterlund, Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy]612 kB
Download this file (LCA-in-Bioeconomy_Krishna-Upadhyayula.pdf)Life-cycle Assessment in Bioeconomy[Krishna Upadhyayula, Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy]1179 kB

Se hur matrester blir till bensin i Umeås skog - Svenska Dagbladet

Read more: Se hur matrester blir till bensin i Umeås skog - Svenska Dagbladet

New Projects Kick Off to Check Merits of New Biofuels in System Perspective

Renewable TFuelsSystems Credit f3 CentreBio4Energy is part of five of nine projects to apply system analysis on new biofuels, recently granted by the funding programme Renewable Transportation Fuels and Systems.Bio4Energy is part of a swathe of new research projects to check whether various types of advanced biofuels can make the cut in the mix and competition with other fuels on the market. All are biofuels whose application is high in demand.

This has led the Swedish Energy Agency, in collaboration with the f3 Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3 Centre); to create a research-funding programme called Renewable Transportation Fuels and Systems. Spanning the years 2018 through 2021, its second round of funding has just been granted, with Bio4Energy participation in five of nine projects. Little wonder then, that Bio4Energy’s coordinator at the f3 Centre is pleased.

“This is a good way to create a continuous stream of research [results] regarding the systemic conditions of technology-based projects. In Bio4Energy we are already experts at collaborating with each other, and here the collaboration can be extended to other funding programmes coordinated by the Energy Agency”, according to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., associate professor at the Luleå University of Technology in northern Sweden.

Wetterlund herself is in charge of one the newly granted projects, called Future-proof biofuels through improved use of biogenic carbon – Carbon, climate and cost efficiency (K3).

Read more: New Projects Kick Off to Check Merits of New Biofuels in System Perspective

Course Opening for Students, Industry Wanting to Place Bio-based Innovations in System Perspective

B4E students AnnaStromBio4Energy young researchers present their ideas for new courses in the Bio4Energy Graduate School, at Skellefteå, Sweden in May 2019. Photo by Bio4Energy.Systems’ Perspectives on Biomass Resources – one of the two generic course in the Bio4Energy Graduate School for PhD and postdoctoral researchers – is set to kick off at Luleå, Sweden, in October.

The course gives an overview of methods and tools to assess the efficiency of a nascent bio-based technology from an environmental and economic perspective, and as part of the mix of technologies already on the market. It also comes with a project assignment, designed to give participants hands-on experience of applying system analysis in some form.

“The purpose of this course is to place technology-based research in perspective so that the student [specialised in a certain niche of biorefinery research] gains an understanding of the way in which his or her work fits into a larger, societal perspective,” said course coordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“We want to give them methods and tools for that”, professor Lundmark added.

Systems’ Perspectives on Biomass Resources is open to PhD and postdoctoral researchers interested in biorefinery, as well as representatives of industry. See below the Bio4Energy flyer for this third edition of the course. The deadline for applications is 27 September this year.

“The expectation on those who enrol is active participation. They will be asked to bring their own research or subject of interest into the course. For instance, they can select a project they are already working on and apply system analysis to that”, Lundmark said.

B4E-2-Entry

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