The announcement came this month after a “Task Force Bio4Energy” met to lay down the fundaments of that which is to become a vehicle for networking andtertiary education in bioenergy and biorefinery research for PhD and post-doctorate researchers enrolled in studies at one of the B4E partner universities.
Addressed to those interested in the theory and practice of bioenergy and biorefinery R&D based on forest-sourced raw materials or organic waste, the first course starting in May next year will describe the research being carried out across the seven B4E Platforms. This Biorefinery Pilot Research Course would be taught at the three B4E R&D hubs at Örnsköldsvik, Umeå and Piteå, said Jansson, who is part of the Task Force.
The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental ResearchThe SLU professor Annika Nordin heads the research programme Future Forests which has been granted four more years of funding by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. Photo by Anna Strom. (Mistra) has granted four more years of funding to Sweden’s largest research programme on forest and land use issues, Future Forests. The announcement came just weeks before the expiry of the programme’s first four-year mandate 31 December, after its work programme for 2013-2016 was changed to further focus on economics and biodiversity issues, according to a Mistra newsletter.
In its first funding period, the cross-disciplinary research programme aimed to take an overall view of the way in which to manage and use the boreal forest sustainably while satisfying a range of actors, including the forestry industry, policy makers and people who use the forest for recreation, fishing and hunting. Thus, the word "trade-off" tended to figure prominently in presentations and analytical reports by the Future Forests' leadership.
Indeed, the programme director Annika Nordin said that as people, "We want renewable energy, renewable materials; we want to conserve biological diversity and we want a forest where we can have great experiences".
A plant science researcher in Bio4Energy has been granted SEK3.05 Bio4Energy researcher Edouard Pesquet was granted an award to continue studying the molecular make up of plants and the mentorship of the Umeå University professor Gunnar Öquist. Photo by courtesy of Umeå University. million to continue refining scientific knowledge of the molecular structure of plants and trees, and notably on the way in which water and minerals are transported in their "vascular" system.
"My research takes aim at the cells that conduct the hydromineral sap" in a tree or plant, Pesquet said. In particular, he has been studying the small vessels that are responsible for transporting water and minerals from a plant’s roots throughout the plant. He likens this system for hydromineral transport with the vascular system of humans or "any superior organism. It must function or we die".
Could it be possible, in a not-too-distant future, to use nanocomposites based Bio4Energy researcher Martha Herrera presents her thesis 'Nanostructured Materials Isolated from Bio-Residues, and their Characterisation' 4 December at Luleå University of Technology. Photo by courtesy of Martha Herrera. on cellulosic residue from ethanol or biorefinery production as an agent in separating gases from each other? Or could nanocomposites be employed as a gas barrier in food packaging to keep its content fresh for longer?
If you ask Bio4Energy researchers at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) the answer is “hopefully, yes”. Tomorrow they are taking a symbolic but decisive step towards reaching their goal. Martha Herrera of the Wood and Bionanocomposites’ division will be taking the stage at LTU to present the group’s finding contained in three scientific articles and one licentiate thesis on Nanostructured Materials Isolated from Bio-Residues, and their Characterisation.
In her thesis, Herrera outlines her team’s efforts at characterising a certain type of nanocomponents, or ‘nanowhiskers’, from two types of residual streams from biorefinery production based on woody raw materials. While one was a by-product of ethanol production by the Swedish clean technology firm SEKAB, the other consisted of reject cellulose from making specialty cellulose at Domsjö Fabriker, at Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, Herrera said.
“We have demonstrated that they can be successfully extracted from bio-residues”, Herrera said with reference to the two nanowhisker suspensions—reject cellulose and bioethanol residue, respectively—which characteristics are accounted for in the thesis. She believed that this was the first time nanowhiskers had been extracted from an industrial waste stream based on woody raw materials. Previously, this kind of process had mainly been applied to bio-residues from agriculture, such as banana leaves, Herrera said.
This month and next, Sweden’s three strategic research The secretariat of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has hosted a series of conferences and meetings in view of achieving an agreement by its 195 member countries that will serve to "prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system". Science has it that this means limiting global average temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius by 2050, compared with pre-industrial levels. Photo by courtesy of IISD. environments dealing with energy issues, appointed by the government, will be bringing a message to the United Nation’s climate change conference in Qatar, on the way in which one Scandinavian country has chosen to support a comprehensive national approach to sustainable energy research.
Bio4Energy, along with its counterparts STandUP for Energy and the Chalmers Energy Initiative (CEI) have been working intensively to formulate their common aim of developing science that entails a systems’ approach to energy research, expected to provide scientific input for an efficient and a sustainable energy system in Sweden and beyond.
What did you think of the Bioenergy 2012 conference, held 14-15 The profile picture for the conference Bioenergy 2012 - Research for a New Generation of Green Products and Chemicals. Image published with permission. November at Piteå, Sweden? Below are some of the reactions sent by e-mail to Bio4Energy, co-organiser of the conference together with its partner, the Solander Science Park.
The conference had about 40 delegates, including those who had a special pass covering the five conferences of the Nolia Energy and Environmental Week who came to participate in Bioenergy 2012. The conference was given on the premises of the seaside resort Pite Havsbad and was moderated by a Swedish journalist, Li Skarin of Massa Media.
“Thank you for a well-organised and a very interesting conference”, Sven Kullander, chairman of the Energy Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm.
Commercialising forest biotechnology can be an uphill struggle despite having a Mats Johnson of the clean technology company SweTree Technologies is a forest biotechnology entrepreneur based at Umeå in northern Sweden. Photo by Bio4Energy. well-performing product with a low environmental impact to offer, a conference on research and innovation in the area of bioenergy and biorefinery has heard.
Mats Johnson of SweTree Technologies, a Sweden-based SME developing biotechnological products or solutions for the forestry industry, told delegates to Bioenergy 2012 at Piteå, Sweden, that his company’s commercial product arGrow®, a fertilizer with a low environmental impact, had received somewhat of a cool reception among the country’s large forestry companies.
“Generally speaking the large (Swedish forestry) companies are not very good at adopting biotechnology” solutions, said Johnson, SweTree CEO, in a speech 15 November. However, “some are interested, but we are at an early stage in the process. In fact, there are only three companies in the world that have made biotechnological solutions their specialty”.
“With this conference we want to spread our research results in northern Sweden. Reaching out to business and industry is an important part of our work, said Stellan Marklund, programme manager of the research environment Bio4Energy and a professor at Umeå University, at Umeå, a few hours’ drive south of Piteå.
Solander Science Park (SSP), for its part, has a mission to link up businesses with the research community so that scientific discoveries may be developed and turned into marketable products. This makes the SSP an ideal partner for Bio4Energy in the quest to create meeting places for bioenergy and biorefinery researchers, on the one hand, and industry and business entrepreneurs, on the other, Marklund said.