Bio4Energy researcher Stina Jansson will contribute to a Trash to Gas project by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in its preparations for sending humans into deep space aboard its International Space Station. Photo by Bio4Energy.A Bio4Energy scientist at Umeå University has won funds for conducting research that will feed into a Trash to Gas initiative started in 2012 by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and which will be stepped up in connection with the preparations of NASA astronauts' first-ever manned trip to the planet Mars in the 2030s.
Funding body the Kempe Foundations supports the fellowship and awards it on an annual basis for the purpose of "supporting young researchers early in their career", according to a press release from the LTU. The Gunnar Öquist Fellowship consists of a SEK3 million (€310,000) kroner award to be used for research activities, as well as a personal prize of SEK50,000 kroner, and the mentorship for three years of professor emeritus Öquist. For the third time since the awarding of the fellowship started five years ago, it goes to a Bio4Energy scientist. Previous Bio4Energy awardees are Judith Felten and Edouard Pesquet, both of the research and development platform Bio4Energy Feedstock.
"It feels great! It’s a confidence boost and some kind of sign that the LTU believes in me. It shows that I grew in the last five years", Umeki said.
The research environment Bio4Energy has been granted a continuation of it activities at least until the end of 2020.
"In line with the government directives, the strategic research areas hosted by Umeå University will continue. However, this is on the condition that you continue having a set aside, strategic funds, so that we will be able to adjust our activities in accordance with any new directives that the government may specify" in its forthcoming Letter of Regulation, said Sommarin, who is also chair of the Bio4Energy Board, commenting on the research bill.
"When they first called me [to announce the prize] I couldn't believe it was true. This is such a great encouragement. I am very happy", said Oksman whose research group creates nanocellulose applications and bio-based composites materials using nanotechnology. Oksman was a platform leader in Bio4Energy between the years 2010 and 2015. Currently she and her group are members of the research and development platform Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies.
Bio4Energy researchers Torbjörn Lestander (left), Mikael Thyrel and Sylvia Larsson won funding for a test-bed pilot which technology is expected to be essential for the efficient operation of biorefineries and biomass combustion facilities. Photo by Bio4Energy.
An instrument that can help biorefinery industry and bioenergy utilities detect and remove or neutralise elements that scupper the process or pollute the environment directly as the biomass is fed into the conversion or combustion process. It sounds like every industrial operator's dream, does it not?
For operators in northern Sweden it could come true within a few years, thanks to funding just granted to Bio4Energy researchers for the purchase of a new instrument drawing on neutron technology for the rapid and advanced online characterisation of woody materials, biomass ash and organic waste.
"The instrument allows for a considerable advancement when it comes to technology since the neutrons have a depth of penetration of tens of centimetres into the test material, which opens up the possibility rapidly to characterise large volumes of heterogeneous material", the researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) say in their application to the funding provider, the Kempe Foundations.
"This means that the technology can be placed on a conveyor belt which makes it a true online technique with a large potential to realise the necessary characterisation needed for process control in resource-efficient and flexible biorefineries of the future", they go on.
Plants need phosphorus to grow and of a kind that they can assimilate. Photo by courtesy of Google Images (4 November).Thanks to new grants from the Swedish Research Council, three new projects can go ahead in Bio4Energy aimed at developing cost-efficient and clean technologies for biogas or synthesis gas scrubbing, which can serve as alternatives to similar technologies based on the use non-renewable fossil fuels. In addition, Bio4Energy's flagship project on phosphorus recovery and removal of contaminants from waste sludge can be taken a step further towards implementation of the technology on a commercial scale.
SP Processum and Bio4Energy gave a joint seminar for the SP Processum member companies and Bio4Energy's Industrial Network, yesterday at Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Seventy-five people from industry, business incubators, academia, research institutes, consultancies and regional and national Swedish authorities came, listened to presentations, workshopped and networked. The focus was on deepening and widening the cooperation between the actors in the network, to uphold and strengthen the position of northern Sweden as a leading region for development of biorefinery based on wood or organic waste.
Several speakers took the opportunity to reach out, or even to urge, members of northern Sweden's biorefinery business community to dare to take the step and cooperate to develop innovations.
One said: "If you think the real reason I am here is to market my offer you are right... We are bringing in new technology and infrastructure and I am asking you: 'Shall we dance?'".
Five research projects deemed capable of promoting the strategic development of Bio4Energy, and the type of research and development its members carry out, have been selected for funding in the Bio4Energy’s second programme period. The projects are deemed to be beyond state of the art and to propose a new direction of research within the field of biorefinery based on wood or organic waste. Their project leaders, representing four of the seven Bio4Energy Research and Development Platforms, will be outlining their respective projects at a conference 25 October at Umeå, Sweden. For more, see the Bio4Energy Newsletter of this autumn. Here we list the 2016 Bio4Energy Strategic Projects.
Process Improvements for Methanol Production via Catalytic Biomass Gasification
Developing Neoteric Ionic Liquids for Enhancing Biomass Gasification to Produce Purified Biosyngas
Supercapacitors and High-energy/density Electrodes Based on Carbon Nanofibers from Lignin and Biochar
Nanocellulose Membranes and Adsorbents for Gas Separations and Ultrafiltration
Recirculation of Wood Ash in Boreal Catchments, Role of Fe-organic Carbon Aggregates and Processes along the Soil Solution Flow Paths