Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification (SFC)—launched in 2011 to provide coordination of Sweden-based efforts to develop gasification of biomass into a viable alternative to fossil energy carriers—looks set to continue its operations for four more years. The much-awaited announcement came as a the Swedish Energy Agency confirmed its decision in a press release to provide provisional funding for another programme period, from 20 April 2017 to 19 April 2021.The
Gasification of biomass, in which lignocellulosic feedstock is turned into synthesis gas and then converted to liquid biofuel or electricity, is taken to be one of the cleanest and most technology-ready options when it comes to renewable alternatives to fossil energy carriers. According to estimates outlined in a government-commissioned package of reports from 2013, one in three cars travelling on Swedish roads could be running on the new fuels in 2030. These could be renewable dimethyl ether, methanol, methane or synthetic diesel.
“This is the most efficient technology [among those aimed at converting biomass to transport fuels] that can handle forestry residues in the form of tree tops and branches. It is flexible in terms of feedstock and products. Among the alternative transport fuel technologies, it ought to be the lowest hanging fruit”, Lundgren said.
Apart from holding the SFC directorship, Lundgren serves as an associate professor at the Luleå University of Technology and as head of Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy, one of the Bio4Energy research and development (R&D) platforms. He said he cherished the opportunity to lead the SFC into its third programme period.
"Our main achievement has been to develop the skill and competency needed to launch the technology and to put Sweden on the map when it comes to research on biomass gasification. We are among the best in the world. Our work has been important in the development of [the biomass demonstration plant] GoBiGas in Gothenburg and the launch of cyclone gasification at Meva Energy", the latter an SME in the Bio4Energy cluster, Lundgren said;
“From this point on we are going to work to increase further the efficiency and the operational ability of the technology processes so that costs can come down and the conditions for full-scale industrial deployment can be improved".
The SFC—that includes three main research nodes, operated by researchers at eight universities, one research institute and about 20 industrial companies—relies on equal shares of funding from the Swedish government, academia and industry.
- Written by Anna Strom