- Written by Anna Strom
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.
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).
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.
“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.
Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy has a new leader.The research and development platform
“You could say that our role is to highlight results from the other Bio4Energy platforms [that develop biorefinery technologies] and put them in a system’s context. Conversely, we put research questions and are able to suggest avenues of research for the other platforms. It is give and take”, Lundmark said.
“My focal area is the interface between forest and energy issues, assessing the cost of various uses of forest raw materials and bioenergy”.
Having clinched his PhD at LTU in northern Sweden, Lundmark went onto undertake postdoctoral studies at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Northern Sweden wanted him back, however. Lundmark became senior lecturer at the university from which he had graduated, promoted in 2011 to be a professor.
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.
“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.
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.
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.Late 2015,
“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.