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Last week a conference in Sweden opened the Bio4Energy LindsayOhlin PhD 3002Lindsay Ohlin, PhD, scored the 2013 Solander Biorefinery Award for the "best" student presentation of the Bio4Energy Graduate School opening conference. Photo by Bio4Energy.
Graduate School on the innovative use of biomass. At Skellefteå distinguished keynote speakers rubbed shoulders with student presenters, one of whom was singled out to receive a SEK20,000 (€2378) award for her "focused" talk on biogas scrubbing.

Former head of the Swedish Energy Agency, Tomas Kåberger of Chalmers University of Technology, 19 March joined the 40-strong gathering to share some of his considerable experience in energy systems and the policies and drivers needed to make them sustainable. Bio4Energy is publishing an audiovisual excerpt of his talk below. Jan Lagerström of the Swedish Forest Industries' Federation, for his part, described the industry's efforts to conceive of biomass-based innovations and its commitment to the research agenda of the European Forest Technology Platform.

Somewhere in between the keynote addesses, however, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.of Luleå University of Technology took the floor to tell some 30 PhD student colleagues and a few senior B4E members of her work to remove carbon dioxide (C02) and water from methane-based biogas intended for use as fuel. The two substances inherent to the renewable raw materials on which the gas was based brought down the "heat value" of the fuel: "We want to separate them out because they don't burn", Ohlin said.

Her research is about creating a cleaner, more efficient production process, using ultra-thin membranes made from zeolite, amicroporous, aluminosilicate mineral shown to have superior qualities for liquid or gaseous separation. This was true "especially concerning [the separation of] CO2", said Ohlin who is a member of the team of LTU professor Jonas Hedlund, head of the Bio4Energy Catalysis and Separation Platform.

She added that she was greatly encouraged by the award which made her feel more confident ahead of her next professional steps: Presenting a licentiate thesis in April and research results at an international conference later in the year. 

"Being acknowledged like this really means a lot… The graduate school is a great initiative", Ohlin said.

On behalf of Bio4Energy and the Solander Science Park—which Bio4Energy cooperation partner has offered to sponsor the 2013 Solander Biorefinery Award, to be handed over at the annual Energy and Environmental Week of renewable energy conferences at Piteå in November—researcher Johannes Hanson of Umeå University said that Ohlin's "focused presentation is an example of what is needed for efficient cross-disciplinary communication needed in the Bio4Energy project". The award is designed to encourage the PhD students to give it their best when invited to present at the annual graduate school conference.

"Many of the talks were of the very highest quality", Hanson wrote in the Award Committee's prize motivation: "The award will be given on an annual basis and the committee is assured that next year we will see the same high quality presentations, judged from this year’s results".

  Tomas Kåberger of Chalmers University of Technology describes the advent of the bioenergy industry in Sweden. Film clip by Bio4Energy, published in cooperation with the Umeå Plant Science Centre.