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.
Reducing the cost of desalinating seawater by three fourths
One of Bio4Energy's research groups develops ultra-thin membranes from zeolite for different types of separations or filtration. Its members are world leading on what they do. In Bio4Energy, the group has focused on developing state-of-the-art methods for separating the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from biogas, and on perfecting their zeolite membranes as a medium for separation and filtration.
“High-flux zeolite membranes will be developed and tested and the costs and energy consumption [of the proposed process] will be estimated”, the summary says.
As a material, zeolite can be composed of any of a large group of minerals consisting of hydrated aluminosilicates of sodium, potassium, calcium or barium. Because zeolites can be dehydrated and rehydrated, researchers use them as cation exchangers or molecular sieves.
Formas is gratefully acknowledged for granting this project.
Mapping the ‘unknowns’ of cell biology
“We designed a genetic screen which focuses on evolutionarily-conserved single copy Arabidopsis [thaliana] genes of unknown function with predominant expression in meristematic cells. This screen identified a previously uncharacterised and essential cellular process occurring in both nuclear envelope and mitochondria in dividing plant cells. This project aims to elucidate the mechanism and function of this vital cellular process”, the researchers’ application says.
Meristem corresponds to a region of plant tissue, found chiefly at the growing tips of roots and shoots and in the cambium and which consists of actively dividing cells that form new tissue.
Bio4Energy Feedstock platform leader Niittylä will lead this project, to be carried out by postdoctoral researcher Wei Wang, in collaboration with a local biotechnology company called Agrisera, specialising in making antibodies.
Tree polymer lignin investigated for various applications
The tree polymer is lignin will be investigated for use in various applications, in three projects where Bio4Energy scientists at the LTU are co-applicants providing an important contribution:
- Lignin-amino acid based new green lubricants enabled by reciprocal hydrogen bonding. Funded by VR. Main applicant is Yijun Shi, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, LTU. Co-applicant is Paul Christakopoulos of the R&D platform Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies.