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Biorefinery R&D

  • Bio4Energy Creates Presence in Norway–New Professorship for PI with Biotechnology Focus

    Bio4Energy                               Ready for new adventures: Researcher Carlos Martín Medina will take up a professorship in Norway, giving Bio4Energy its first presence there. Photo by Anna Strom©2021. is about to have its first solid presence in Norway, with researcher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., native of Cuba, taking up a professorship in Biomass and Bioresources Utilisation at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences at Hamar.

    Thanks to continued research funding, Martín will continue to advise a research group at Umeå University in Sweden, whose members belong to the platform Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies.

    Notably, an encompassing project on biorefinery production from quinoa residues and capacity building for the bioeconomy; which is a collaboration with the Bolivian Universidad Mayor de San Andrés; will continue for at least another five years.

    “It is kind of a dream [that I have] to be a bridge between the research communities of Sweden and Norway”, Martín told Bio4Energy Communications in an online interview. 

    Taking up his new position, Martín will also start a new role as a member of a new European Union initiative to promote raw materials for biorefinery based on different types of organic waste.

  • New Professor in Bio4Energy Wants to Reach Young People to Change World – Video

    Sylvia Larsson Bio4Energy©2021Bio4Energy platform leader Sylvia Larsson and her postdoctoral student Glaydson Simões share a joke during their work, at the Biomass Technology Centre at Umeå, Sweden. Photo by courtesy of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.A Bio4Energy leader—and a recent professor—wants to give young people tools with which to change the world, moving to a bioeconomy from an economy dependent on materials and fuels based on petrochemicals.

    A professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences since this month, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been a platform leader in the research environment Bio4Energy since 2018. This means she is responsible for research and development on wood pre-processing, in the context of making renewable materials and fuels. Larsson is also the chief coordinator for the Bio4Energy Graduate School on the Innovative Use of Biomass.

    “I want to capture the commitment of young people to transform [what I perceive to be] the generalised feeling of hopelessness... in the face of climate change. We want to start from the idea of a future society in which the use of fossilised resources is minimal. And to create training that will give students tools to help shape the future,” she said.

    The work of the Bio4Energy platform Larsson leads rests on two legs. In terms of biorefinery—meaning the concept of making chemicals, fuels and materials from bio-based starting materials—her platform tackles the need to make these latter more like fossilised resources. Bio-based feedstock like wood is heterogenous, meaning that its composition varies greatly. Larsson’s platform, Bio4Energy Wood Pre-processing, adapts the woody materials to specific processes. She refers to this as the “problem-solving” leg of the work of the platform.

  • Project on Biorefinery Production from Quinoa Residue, Capacity Building, to Strengthen Bolivian Economy

    CristhianCarrasco CarlosMartín LeifJönssonFrom left: Cristhian Carrasco, Carlos Martín and Leif Jönsson on the Bolivian Altiplano, at the start of the Quinoa Project in 2017. Photo by courtesy of Carlos Martín.A groundbreakingresearch project on turning inedible residue from quinoa production in the Andes of South America into bio-based products, will have a long-term continuation. Fresh funds from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and a great investment of time and resources by the project leaders, mean that a number of students will be trained to lead the work in Bolivia and that new bio-based materials will be developed.

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Bio4Energy at Umeå University (UmU), Sweden and Cristhian Carrasco of Bolivian Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, lead a part of the newly granted five-year Research Cooperation Programme that targets the development of bio-based materials.

    The pair will oversee research and training on production of bio-based polymers—bio-based substances or materials consisting of very large molecules—that will eventually result in new materials made from quinoa stalks. These latter are what is left over after the protein-rich edible part of the plant has been removed.

    The pharmaceutical and food industry are targets for the bio-based materials to be developed.

    Bolivia, along with other Latin American nations place great belief in the nascent bioeconomy to provide renewable products and sustenance to farmers in financially challenged regions sharing the Andean Altiplano, the high-altitude plateau of the mountain range that straddles Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

  • 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.