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Summer Greetings from Bio4Energy

Summer20220 AnnaStromIn the busy world of a Bio4Energy researcher, summer is a time for many of taking the foot of the gas. Perhaps to go for a relaxing time at the lake instead, as the photographer did. Photo by Anna Strom ©2022.It is the time of the year when we allow ourselves to take a break, to come back in autumn with sunshine and blue skies behind our eyelids; ready to tackle a new semester of making tools and methods for producing biofuels, "green" chemicals and bio-based materials.

Before we go, we want to wish you all the best. Thank you for following us. We hope to continue the cooperation or collaboration with you from September.

Would you be interested in receiving our news? Sign up for the Bio4Energy Newsletter, in the right-hand column of this page.

Bio4Enery Going Strong: New Scientists, Collaborations

Collage 170622Bio4Energy researchers and advanced students met at Umeå, Sweden, 16 June. Photos by Anna Strom ©2022. Bio4Energy scientists and advanced students met at Umeå, Sweden, ready to form new research collaborations. 

Bio4Energy's most recent platform leader, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., opened up for collaboration with Environment and Nutrient Recycling; and with his team presenting new lines of research.

New Bio4Energy researchers, bringing the membership count to 225, took the stage; pitching and matching.

The research environment is stronger than ever, taking its collaborations, as well as own education and training to new levels.

Moreover, expect news in terms of Bio4Energy's outreach and online presence to follow in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Attachments:
Download this file (A platform working for circularity_Nils Skoglund.pdf)A Platform Working for Circularity, Nils Skoglund, 16 June 2022[Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling]1124 kB
Download this file (B4E forskarmöte - AS.pdf)Nutrient Recovery from Residual Streams, Anna Strandberg, 16 June 2022[Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling]923 kB
Download this file (B4E20220616.Conrad.pdf)Geochemical Fingerprints, Sarah Conrad, 16 June 2022[Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling]7745 kB
Download this file (Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting_Agenda and Introduction.pdf)Summer 2022 Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting, 16 June[Bio4Energy Programme Managers and their Deputy]2845 kB

The 2021 Bio4Energy Annual Report Is Out

                               Grass after a summer rain. Photo by Anna Strom©2022.This is the release of the Bio4Energy Annual Report for 2021.

It gives an overview of the research and development conducted on the seven Bio4Energy Research and Development Platforms.

It hints at the work of the Bio4Energy PhD students, by listing the topics for and names of those who successfully defended their thesis, at the end of their PhD project.

It shows which research teams won a special acknowledgement, in the section for Awards and Commissions of Trust.

There is a section for Media and Outreach.

Last but not least, the Bio4Energy Advisory Board is profiled. It is made up of key people for the bio-based sector in Sweden. It serves to guide the Bio4Energy board and programme managers, in their efforts to make the research environment useful not only to itself, but also to the sector.

Attachments:
Download this file (Bio4Energy annual report 2021-final-2.pdf)Bio4Energy Annual Report 2021, 22 June 2022[Bio4Energy Research Environment]748 kB

Phase Out of Fossil Coal in Sweden's Iron, Steel Industries on Cards with New Academy - Industry Project

KU Biocarbon Bio4Energy2022Kentaro Umeki of Bio4Energy is part of an academy - industry project designed to develop a ready-to-implement system for phase out of fossil coal use in iron and steel industries in Sweden. Photos of biomass (left) and biochar, respectively; by courtesy of Kentaro Umeki. A project consortium including research groups, technology development companies, plant owners and iron and steel industry; is about to take a large step toward phasing out the use of fossil coal in the iron and steel industries in Sweden.

Thanks to a substantial grant from the Swedish Energy Agency, the partners will be able to deliver a reactor concept and a roadmap detailing the way in which to implement a switch from fossil coal to biocarbon in existing district-heating plants, using fluidised-bed gasification technology.

Whereas fossilised coal is extracted from the Earth’s interior in mining operations, oftentimes transported over long distances and a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions; biocarbon is high-temperature treated biomass from woody residue or industrial bio-based waste that will be sourced regionally by the partners. 

In fact, when treated at a temperature range of 500 - 900 degrees Celsius, biomass becomes almost pure solid carbon and earns the name "biocarbon". It is seen as carbon “neutral” under the current regulatory framework and so the expectation is that the new technology will deliver net zero emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas. 

Seven-to-nine per cent of global emissions of carbon dioxide hail from iron and steel making operations. In Sweden, where the sector is both an important employer and provider of exports, this figure is 12 per cent.

Read more: Phase Out of Fossil Coal in Sweden's Iron, Steel Industries on Cards with New Academy - Industry...

Easter Greetings from Bio4Energy

YellowEasterLilies AnnaStrom2022 400pxYellow Easter lilies bending slightly to a spring rain. Photo by Anna Strom ©2022.Bio4Energy would like to wish its researchers, industrial partners and all stakeholders a Happy Easter.

Researchers, please know that the registration for the Spring 2022 Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting will open shortly after the Easter holidays. 

Stakeholders, we will be having new Strategic Projects to announce to you this spring. They are designed to promote original and innovative research and development projects between the partners in the Bio4Energy research environment. Only proposals that are deemed to promote a "new" line of research are granted.

We very much look forward to keeping in touch during the rest of 2022,

The Bio4Energy Programme Managers and Communications

Bio4Energy Celebrates Its 100th Thesis Defence by PhD Student

MojtabaNobandegani ThesisDef 400pxBio4Energy deputy programme manager Elisabeth Wetterlund congratulates Mojtaba Nobandegani with a bouquet of flowers at his thesis defence, 22 April 2022 at Luleå, Sweden. From left: Liang Yu, Elisabeth Wetterlund, Mojtaba Nobandegani and Jonas Hedlund; all of Bio4Energy at Luleå University of Technology.The Bio4Energy research environment is celebrating its 100th thesis defence by a PhD student.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Luleå University of Technology (LTU) receives the honour of being the 100th advanced student to pass his doctoral degree as part of the Bio4Energy cluster.

His thesis Adsorption and mass transport in zeolite membranes is part of the research efforts of the platform Bio4Energy Chemical Catalysis and Separation Technologies.

Education and training are a central mission for Bio4Energy, alongside research and development.

The Bio4Energy programme managers and coordinator for education extend their congratulations to Nobandegani and his supervisor professor Jonas Hedlund of LTU.

Change of Leader at Bio4Energy Environment, Nutrient Recycling

StinaJansson NilsSkoglund flipped AnnaStrom2022Incoming Bio4Energy platform leader Nils Skoglund accepts a relay baton—a piece of wood—from outgoing platform head Stina Jansson. Photo by Anna Strom©2022.The research and development platform Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling has a new leader as of March 2022.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., associate professor at Bio4Energy host Umeå University, is taking over the platform leadership from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who has the same title and affiliation, as she takes on more responsibilities for her home department.

The appointment has the blessing of the Bio4Energy Steering Group and Board.

“I am happy to take on this role and look forward to shouldering the responsibility”, Skoglund said.

As all seven Bio4Energy R&D platform leaders, he has a substantial science background; including in Chemistry, Biology and Earth Sciences; and holds a PhD in Energy Technology with specialisation in Thermal Process Chemistry. One of his focal areas is the recovery of phosphorus from biomass ash or organic waste.

He welcomed the confirmation of the continued funding by the Swedish government of the Bio4Energy research environment, which will continue at least until 2024. This would allow the platform to focus on its medium-term goals, he said.

Read more: Change of Leader at Bio4Energy Environment, Nutrient Recycling

Long-running Quinoa Project Hits Milestone with Classification of New Bacterium

Salar de Uyuni CourtesyCarlosMartínScientists of the Quinoa Project on Salar de Uyuni salt flat, on the Andean Altiplano. From left: Katherine Marín, Carlos Martín, Leif Jönsson, Cristhian Carrasco and Juan Carlos Peñaranda Orozco. Far right is Diego Chambi, main author of the scientific article that outlines the identification, classification and characterisation of a new bacterial strain. Photo by courtesy of Carlos Martín.A long-running research project designed to create the conditions for making renewable fuels, chemicals and pesticides from residues of the agricultural crop quinoa; grown in extreme environments; has hit a major milestone.

Bio4Energy’s long-running ‘Quinoa Project’, started in 2017 by scientists in Sweden and Bolivia, not only has expanded to a multi-partner effort, but also has classified and provided a detailed map of characteristics of a previously unknown bacterium that can be at the base of high value-added biorefinery products.

This bacterium lives on the Andean Altiplano, or high-altitude plateau, of the great mountain range straddling Bolivia and a number of other South American countries. To protect itself from the intense sunlight and high salt concentration of its environment, it produces a type of polymer (a base component of many living organisms), which the scientists believe can be at the base of a number of high value-added biorefinery applications. It is this "exopolysaccharide" polymer that can become use products down the line.

"We believe that this type of polymer will be useful for producing products of high market value. We can think about applications such as fine chemicals, medical materials and food additives", said Carlos Martín Medina of Umeå University, Sweden; who shares the project leadership with Cristhian Carrasco of the Bolivian Universidad Mayor de San Andrés.

Read more: Long-running Quinoa Project Hits Milestone with Classification of New Bacterium

Starting Soon: Advanced Training on Innovation, Development of Biofuels, Chemicals, Materials

Bio4Energy is announcing the start of its flagship training course Biorefinery Pilot Research early April 2022.

It is one of two must-take courses for advanced students interested in innovation and development of advanced biofuels, chemicals and materials from wood or organic waste.

The application opens today and will close 15 March.*

Biorefinery Pilot Research is part of the Bio4Energy Graduate School on the Innovative Use of Biomass. It is for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and industry professionals who want to develop their understanding of the innovation and development process.

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Read more: Starting Soon: Advanced Training on Innovation, Development of Biofuels, Chemicals, Materials

Bio4Energy Part of New Multi-partner Project to Create Biorefinery for Organic Waste

Bio4EnergyNaserTavajohiLab Bio4Energy2022Naser Tavajohi and his student researchers are part of a new project to create a biorefinery starting from biogas-making operations. Photo by courtesy of Naser Tavajohi (edited by A.S.). is part of a new multi-partner project to create a biorefinery for organic waste—with end products such as bio-based plastics, animal feed, “green” chemicals, biofuels and higher alcohols (Fusel oil)—in a two-step process.

If successful, the result could become a trendsetter concept for how to create a virtually waste-free system for making the said commodities, but as bio-based alternatives to their current fossil resource-based counterparts.

Researchers at the University of Borås in Sweden gave birth to the idea that the concept of biogas making could be expanded to deliver much more than just biogas car fuel, which is produced from the fermentation of food and agricultural waste in an oxygen-free environment.  

In addition to this kind of bacterial break down of organic residues (anaerobic digestion), they want to add two more main processes to reuse all of the contents of the organic waste feedstock. These processes are referred to as 'membrane reactors' and 'biological augmentation', in scientific speak.

The new concept will be tested at “large-scale” research facilities tied to the University of Borås, according to assistant professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who heads up Bio4Energy’s contribution to the project from Umeå University.

Although Tavajohi could not give an exact figure on the envisioned capacity, the scale would be near or at the level of industrial implementation. Consultants from RISE Research Institutes of Sweden were set to assist the academic researchers in some part of the project, he told Bio4Energy Communications in an online interview.

Read more: Bio4Energy Part of New Multi-partner Project to Create Biorefinery for Organic Waste

The Bio4Energy Partners

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Bio4Energy Industrial Network

Strategic Partners

 RISE Processum

Piteå Science Park/Bothnia Bioindustries Cluster

Industrial Network - Founding Members

AkzoNobel

BillerudKorsnäs

BioFuel Region

CHEMREC

Domsjö Fabriker

Eurocon

Metso Power

MoRe Research

RagnSells

SCA Munksund

SCA Obbola

SEKAB

Skellefteå Kraft

SmurfitKappa

Sunpine

Sveaskog

SweTree Technologies

Umeå Energi

Woodheads

Övik Energi

Holmen Skog