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Sweden's Progress Towards Bioeconomy Showcased at Conference

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.

“As Bio4Energy we contributed by showing how the cooperation between our universities and institutes can contribute to strengthen the development of a bio-based economy. Our work covers the entire [biorefinery] value chain”, said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.who coordinated Bio4Energy’s presence at the event.

“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.

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New Strategic Collaboration Projects Unveiled at Mini Conference

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. 

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Moreover, Bio4Energy system analysis researchers described their new webinar series through which people interested in research on biorefinery and bioenergy from all over the world can interact with experts on system analysis who have used tools such as life-cycle assessment and cost-benefit analysis to check the feasibility of implementing various bio-based technologies.

Download this file (B4E-190516-Cheaper methanol production with alkali impregnation-final.pdf)Cheaper methanol production with alkali impregnation and novel syngas cleaning[Xiaoyan Ji, Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy]744 kB
Download this file (Bio-based_carbon_nanofibers_likely_cheaper_Bio4Energy_150519.pdf)Bio-based carbon nanofibres likely cheaper[Jiayuan Wei, Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies]1811 kB
Download this file (Bio4Energy_partner_in_initiative_to_green_airline_fuel_Bio4Energy_150519.pdf)Bio4Energy partner in iniative to green airline fuel[Leif Jönsson, Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies]131 kB
Download this file (Ionic_liquids_could_replace_expensive_gas_cleaning_process_Bio4Energy_150519.pdf)Ionic liquids could replace expensive gas cleaning process[Fredrik Weiland, Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies]1609 kB
Download this file (Is_wood_ash_from_biomass_combustion_always_hazardous_waste_Bio4Energy_150519.pdf)Is wood ash from biomass combustion always hazardous waste?[Johan Ingri, Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling]2136 kB

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Method to Raise Yields, Reduce Risk in Biofuel Making, Attracting Global Attention

BDP credit RISE 400pxFor their verification experiments, the Bio4Energy researchers used the Biorefinery Demonstration Plant, at Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Photo by courtesy of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.Late 2015, 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.

Mid-March this year, the main scientific article in the series, giving a review of research in the area and outlining the new method, had received over 400 citations in other scientific articles written by researchers worldwide. This is more than 20 times the average of articles published in the prestigious Bioresource Technology journal, which carried the review, according to Carlos Martín of Umeå University (UmU). Martín and his co-author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. are leading figures on the research and development platform Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies.

“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.

Read more: Method to Raise Yields, Reduce Risk in Biofuel Making, Attracting Global Attention

Season's Greetings from Bio4Energy

Delsjon2 AnnaStrom2018 400When the ice will not quite settle on the lake: Season's Greetings from Bio4Energy of Sweden. Photo by Anna Strom© 2018.Bio4Energy wants to thank its researchers, industrial network and stakeholders for a wonderfully productive and exciting year of 2018. In the new year of 2019, we look forward to cooperating even more closely with our strategic partners, among them RISE Processum and Piteå Science Park/Botnia BioIndustries Cluster, and with our newly created Bio4Energy Advisory Board of representatives of industry, research institutes and the Swedish government.

In spring, we expect to host events for our researchers and Advisory Board, as well as a session at the BioBase 2019 Conference, in June. We greatly look forward to the launch of the third edition of Systems' Perspectives on Bioresources, one of two generic courses in the Bio4Energy Graduate School for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers interested in biorefinery based on woody matter or organic waste. Biorefinery Pilot Research, Bio4Energy's popular Graduate School Course on biorefinery pilot and demonstration facilities and bio-based innovations, will start again in spring 2020.

So from all of us, to all of you:

Happy New Year!

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Latest from Bio4Energy on Biorefinery R&D: Catalysis & Separation, Pre-processing & Pre-treatment

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.

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Bio4Energy Scientists Make First-ever Bio-based Equivalent of Carbon Black from Pyrolysis Oil

Magnus Marklund B4E RISE ETCMagnus Marklund, CEO at RISE Energy Technology Center, shows a sample of the "green" Black Carbon developed by his team in Bio4Energy and at RISE. Bio4Energy© 2018. Scientists in 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.

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Sweden Could Add Several Biorefineries without Great Increases in Price of Feedstock

RL EW L S BiorefineryRobert Lundmark and Elisabeth Wetterlund of Bio4Energy are two of the authors behind a new report saying that large-scale biorefinery operations could be added in Sweden without major increases in the price of wood. Photo by Ted Karlsson, Luleå University of Technology. A new review report named Large-Scale Implementation of Biorefineries says that biorefinery—operations for making advanced biofuels and “green” chemicals—can be rolled out on a large scale in Sweden without jeopardising the production of traditional wood products or bringing substantial increases in the cost of raw materials from the forest.

“These are interesting findings in that we see that there is scope in Sweden for adding new large-scale biorefineries”, said the study lead author, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Bio4Energy.

“We do not see that the price of feedstock would be forced upwards to any great extent”, he added.

Lundmark is one of Bio4Energy’s research leaders at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) specialising in system analysis and bioeconomy and the report a review of a number of modelling studies designed to advise policy-makers and industrialists on options for, and implications of, expanding biorefinery production. The review study itself is a collaboration between Bio4Energy at the LTU, the International Institute for Applied System Analysis and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

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‘Fantastic Possibility’ to Promote Northern Sweden as Centre of Excellence for Development of Biomass Innovations

FrancescoGentili Photo by AnnaStromFrancesco Gentili is the new coordinator for Bio4Energy's training course on the pilot and demonstration steps of biomass innovations. Photo by Bio4Energy.As of this year, Francesco Gentili coordinates Bio4Energy’s flagship course for student researchers and industry representatives on bringing biomass innovations to scale. Biorefinery Pilot Research is about to kick off in its third edition 27-29 August, with a first stop at the Bio4Energy partner RISE Energy Technology Center (RISE ETC) at Piteå.

Biorefinery Pilot Research is the first of two generic courses in the Bio4Energy Graduate School on the Innovative Use of Biomass. It is a model copy of the Bio4Energy Research Environment, with its unique access to research at the fundamental level and all the way up to demonstration of bio-based technologies on a near industrial scale.

A researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at Umeå, Gentili is an agronomist specialised in the production of algae in northern climates and its upscaling. Since spring 2018, he is a member of the research and development platform Bio4Energy Wood Pre-processing.

Gentili has been the driving spirit behind laboratory-scale research to cultivate microalgae for the use of feedstock in biofuels and “green” chemicals, and the subsequent setting afoot of pilot facilities at Umeå, Sweden, on the premises of a regional energy utility, Umeå Energi.

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