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Recent Bulletin from IEA Bioenergy on Use of Woody Biomass for Energy

Bio4Energy highlights a February 2021 bulletin by the International Energy Agency's Bioenergy branch (IEA Bioenergy). The bulletin attempts to nuance the debate and clarify some misconceptions that are common in current media campaigns that criticise the use of bioenergy. The bulletin can be found here, Campaigns questioning the use of woody biomass for energy are missing key facts.

New Initiatives to Meet UN SDGs: Bio4Energy Partner Universities

LTU SUN 020221Natural resources of the Swedish north. Photo collage by courtesy of Luleå University of Technology. Two of the partner universities in the research environment Bio4Energy are launching major initiatives to make researchers from different disciplines collaborate with each other and with industry to make northern Sweden lead the way in adapting to and countering climate change, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northernmost part of Sweden takes aim at basic industry in the region—sectors that draw on forest trees, mining ore or dams or waterfalls for hydropower—to carry out the transition to a sustainable economy.

“Meeting the climate [change] goals and transforming basic industry requires an increased use of northern Sweden’s natural resources. We need new technology and new methods; new products and new solutions for fossil-free electrification, energy storage, efficient use of raw materials and use of byproducts”, said a press release from LTU.

Research group leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy has been elected assistant scientific leader of the LTU initiative SUN—Natural Resources for Sustainable Transitions.
 
“Industry’s transition is going to require a great number of skilled people. We need to create attractive conditions for them to come here”, according to Söderholm.

Read more: New Initiatives to Meet UN SDGs: Bio4Energy Partner Universities

Bio4Energy Scientists in Large Project to Capture and Store Greenhouse Gas Carbon Dioxide

defaultPulp and paper maker BillerudKorsnäs' operations at Karlsborg, Sweden. Photo used with permission.Bio4Energy scientists are part of a large-scale collaboration to develop a technology for capture and onshore storage of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas, from pulp and paper making. Pulp and paper maker BillerudKorsnäs in the Bio4Energy Industrial Network is industrial partner.

The researchers will use byproducts from the company's operations at Karlsborg, Sweden; coupled with enzyme technology; to capture carbon dioxide that would otherwise escape from the industrial process as biomass is burned. 

Once captured, the gas will be turned into bicarbonate, a salt of carbonic acid, which is in fact a water-soluble form of carbon dioxide. The fact that it is water soluble will make it safe to pump into the ground, according to a press release from Luleå University of Technology (LTU) where the scientists work.  

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Io Antonopoulou of Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies will use lime mud and green liquor sludge from residual streams of the pulp and paper making to develop a technique for capture of biogenic carbon dioxide. Other researchers at the LTU will undertake a large-scale mapping exercise to assess the potential for geological carbon dioxide storage in Sweden.

The Swedish Energy Agency funds the project via a large package of measures known as Industriklivet, part of the government's efforts to combat and prevent climate change.

Season's Greeting from Bio4Energy 2020 with Updates

Bio4Energy SG AnnaStrom2020 500Season's Greetings from Bio4Energy. Photo by Anna Strom© 2020It is the end of the season. And boy what a season. There was the coronavirus disease, Covid-19; that turned plans on their head and saw us turn the regular Bio4Energy events into online meetings. 

There was intense work to prepare the research environment Bio4Energy for a much-hoped-for third programme period, from 2022. Programme manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., professor at Umeå University, is leading the work to develop a new programme plan and context analysis with input from the Bio4Energy platform leaders and research group leaders.

Last but not least, there was great progress made across the seven research and development (R&D) platforms to deliver excellent research and develop collaborations. Please review the news of this page or find our Newsletters in the Twitter feed.

With this said, Bio4Energy wants to wish all its followers from near and far,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We would be delighted for your continued support and exchange of experiences in 2021. Thank you very much for 2020 Bio4Energy researchers and students, Board and Steering Group, as well as members of the Industrial Network.

Read more: Season's Greeting from Bio4Energy 2020 with Updates

Award for Science-industry Project to Develop Prebiotics – Video

UlrikaRova CourtesyLTUUlrika Rova has received the Luleå University of Technology's Innovator of the Year Award 2020, for her project to develop prebiotics from woody and marine biomass. Photo by courtesy of the LTU.Bio4Energy scientist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has received a prize for her research group’s ground-breaking project to develop prebiotics for use in food and fish feed, from wood and the outer layer of sea-living organism.

Bio4Energy partner Luleå University of Technology (LTU) awards professor Rova its 2020 Innovator of the Year Award for having taken “an idea further for the benefit of the surrounding society and who has been creative, innovative, driven, visionary, committed and entrepreneurial.

"The innovation contributes with new opportunities to solve three of the world’s biggest problems: Poor public health, unsustainable resource management and limited food supply”, a press release from the LTU said.

The project called ForceUpValue had recently concluded trials for food applications with successful results, professor Rova said in an e-mail message to Bio4Energy Communications. 

This means that there is scientific proof that the bio-based prebiotics—or good-for-your-intestines fibres—can contribute to strengthening the immune system of people who ingest them. What prebiotics do, in fact, is to support probiotics which are key health-promoting bacteria in the human gut.

Read more: Award for Science-industry Project to Develop Prebiotics – Video

Technology Researchers Listen Up: We Can Help Make Your Processes Environment-friendly

Bio4EnergyBio4Energy SAB AnnaStrom2020x500Bio4Energy system analysis researchers at Umeå can help applying life-cycle assessment on bio-based technology projects. Illustration by Bio4Energy© 2020. system analysis researchers at Umeå, Sweden have joined up to issue guidance on the way in which life-cycle assessment (LCA) may be applied to technology-based projects in the areas of advanced biofuels, ‘green’ chemicals or bio-based materials, in line with the topical focus areas of the research environment.

In a new compendium, which starts with an introduction to the LCA method and the need for its application, they outline finished and ongoing LCA-to-biomass projects shepherded by two expert teams at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Umeå University, respectively.

“It shows the work that has been done in Bio4Energy and informs technical researchers of the possibilities afforded by applying LCA to technology-based projects”, said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy researcher at the SLU.

Read more: Technology Researchers Listen Up: We Can Help Make Your Processes Environment-friendly

Research Council Formas Grants Projects on Bio-based Carbon Black, Marine Applications, Maritime Fuels

AllSaintsDay AnnaStrom2020It may be winter in northern Sweden, but the Bio4Energy researchers keep winning new projects. Photo by Anna Strom©2020.Three new projects on bio-based maritime fuels, marine applications and carbon black will kick off thanks to new funding grants from the Research Council Formas, in its annual round of research funding.

Scientists representing three different Bio4Energy Research and Development Platforms will be running these multi-annual projects, with the main applicants acknowledged as follows:

  • Development of lignin-based eco-friendly antifouling coatings for marine applications (NATURAL) by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies at the Luleå University of Technology;
  • Green carbon black by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies at the RISE Energy Technology Center and;
  • Forest-based biofuels for sustainable maritime shipping in the Arctic by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy at Umeå University.

Vattenfall Prize Awarded Bio4Energy Scientist for Scheme to Make Bio-based Materials Using Nanotechnology

Linn Berglund LTUBio4Energy researcher Linn Berglund of the Luleå University of Technology receives the Vattenfall Prize for Best PhD Thesis 2020, on making nanofibres from bio-based residue. Photo used with permission.Energy utility Vattenfall has acknowledged excellent research on nanotechnology to make bio-based starting materials, with its 2020 Award for Best PhD Thesis at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden.

The research work has entailed breaking down biomass such as bio-based residue into its smallest structural components to obtain so-called nanofibers, making a schematic overview—or platform—for their inherent characteristics and use possibilities and, in a couple of cases, attempts to design applications.

Gaining her PhD in 2019, LTU associate senior lecturer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. thus receives the prize for having developed a platform for mechanically fibrillated (or separated) nanofibers, outlined in her thesis From Bio-Based Residues to Nanofibers Using Mechanical Fibrillation for Functional Biomaterials.

Berglund’s work contains a starting point for evaluating the quality and energy efficiency of using nanofibres extracted from different types of bio-based starting materials, such as wood, pulp or different types of organic residues, in applications.

She has also been part of developing applications from two of the most promising types of residue—namely from carrot juice production and from a form of kelp (brown algae seaweed) called Norwegian Fingertips—to make lightweight foam materials and hydrogels for biomedical use, respectively.

Read more: Vattenfall Prize Awarded Bio4Energy Scientist for Scheme to Make Bio-based Materials Using...

Bio4Energy-funded Projects Promoting Excellence, Collaboration Focus of Event

Audience 210518 2 420Twice a year, the Bio4Energy scientists meet as a group to exchange ideas. Photo by Bio4Energy (archives).Bio4Energy offers its scientists the possibility to apply for so-called Strategic Funds to finance projects on new lines of research that are likely to advance the frontiers of science. The projects also have to promote collaboration between researchers from different disciplines or organisations; including universities, institutes and industry tied to the research environment.

Today’s Bio4Energy Researchers’ Meeting, a biannual event for the research programme within the environment, learnt about projects enabled by those funds.

Five Projects Granted Bio4Energy Scientists by Prestigious Swedish Research Council

The prestigious Swedish Research Council has granted no less than five new fundamental science projects led by Bio4Energy researchers, in its annual round of funding in Science and Technology.

  • Watching the death of carbon nanoparticles by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies at RISE Energy Technology Centre.
  • Mechanics and dynamics of cell-to-cell adhesion in plants by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Feedstock at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
  • Cell-type specific lignification in plant vasculature by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Feedstock at Umeå University.
  • Multi-scale studies of aqueous neoteric liquids—ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy at the Luleå University of Technology.
  • Enzymatic modification of lignin by oxidoreductases from wood-degraded fungi by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies at Umeå University.

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