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Luleå University of Technology

  • Bio4Energy Thesis Defence: Process Integration to Increase Woody Biomass Use for Energy Purposes, Luleå, Sweden

    Sennai Mesfun of the R&D platform Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy will be defending his PhD thesis on Thursday 09/06 at 14:00, in room E632 at the Luleå University of Technology, LTU.

    The title of this thesis is "Process integration to increase woody biomass utilization for energy purposes" and his advisor is the LTU professor Andrea Toffolo.
  • Bio4Energy Workshop on Max IV, Umeå, Sweden

  • Bio4Energy Year of 2019

                                   After the rain: Oak leaves drying in the sunshine. Photo by Anna Strom©2020.The year of 2019 were one of the most productive for the research environment Bio4Energy since the start in 2010. This included not only technical research and innovations, but also efforts were stepped up to check the feasibility of introducing those latter on the market, using system analysis.

    The invention of entirely fossil-free green petrol and diesel received massive media attention that started at the first Bio4Energy press release in 2018 and continued throughout the year 2019 and into 2020.

    A first-ever webinar series by Bio4Energy and partner programmes at Umeå University, Sweden, informed stakeholders around the world about the latest advances in R&D pertaining to Sustainable Cities and Circular Bioeconomy.

    Finally, Bio4Energy prepared to change leadership, with a new management troika taking over the reins 1 January 2020. Efforts got off the ground to prepare for a possible third programme period of Bio4Energy.

    Bio4Energy’s second five-year mandate is set to end 31 December 2020.

  • Biofuel Making via Gasification Most Efficient, But Sector Prefers Drop-ins

    BeWhere Sweden webBeWhere Sweden. Illustration by courtesy of Elisabeth Wetterlund, Bio4Energy and the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels.In a medium-term perspective until 2030, biomass gasification would be the most cost-efficient option for rolling out advanced biofuel production on a large scale in Sweden, a new research report based on energy system modelling confirms. However, attached analysis of stakeholder advice shows, central actors in the sector have turned their backs on biofuel-making options that require large investments.

    Instead, they appear to favour drop-in fuels made from bio-based hydrocarbons, which properties are similar to those of standard petrol and diesel and can be produced in existing oil refineries. Such advanced drop-ins are being made on a pilot scale by Bio4Energy member RISE Energy Technology Center at Piteå, Sweden and their partner Suncarbon. So-called de-polymerisation of the wood polymer lignin could be a basis for this type of process.

    The report, ending a project called BeWhere - Stakeholder analysis of biofuel production in Sweden, is based on an international energy system model called BeWhere, but which has been adapted to national conditions.

  • Biofuels Report from 2013 Government Investigation Available in Short Form

    Forestry residues Photo by Anna StromPotential biofuel? A heap of forestry residue at recreational area on the outskirts of Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo by Anna Strom©.The report Sustainable Transportation Biofuels Today and in the Future—presented in 2013 as part of the Swedish government investigation on how to make road transport "independent" of fossil fuel use by 2030—has been released in a summary version.

    "We wanted to make a short and updated version that was more easily accessible and readable", said co-author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of the Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy Platform. Lundgren, who is a professor at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), drafted the summary together with colleagues at Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3 Centre). 

    Compared with the full report, a few updates had been made regarding the estimate for future sustainable outtake of forestry residues as feedstock for biofuel production, Lundgren said. Moreover, the estimate for annual domestic biofuel production by 2030 had been lowered from 25-35 terawatt hours (TWh) to 22-32 TWh. This was because the estimate for future potential outtake of tree stumps had been reduced, he added.

    The Gothenburg-based f3 Centre published both the report and its summary.

    "f3 took the initiative [for us to draft] the summary because the report we wrote were a couple of hundred pages long. Not something people read in a coffee break, perhaps".

    Both papers are intended to guide researchers and decision-makers working to pave the way for ridding Sweden's transport fleet of its dependence on fossil fuels and meet the country's greenhouse gas reduction targets.
  • Biorefinery Pilot Research

    Biorefinery Pilot Research participantsExtent and credits: 5 ECTS                            

    Course coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Objectives

    On completion of the course, students will:

    • Be able to describe the biorefinery technologies represented in pilot scale facilities within the Bio4Energy infrastructure and know how to get access to them;

    • Be able to explain and discuss models for the roles of academia and functions of technical innovation systems and to critically evaluate real research facility cases based on these models;

    • Beware of essentials regarding sampling, building of large-scale experimental equipment, fund raising, and intellectual property rights and;

    • Have gained access to interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas through networking activities.


    Dates and locations -- Due to the spread of COVID-19 this course will not be given in autum 2020.

    A preliminary timeline for the next issue is given as follows:


    Autumn 2021

    Piteå, Sweden —  Late August - Early September

    • RISE Energy Technology Centre and Piteå Science Park


    Örnsköldsvik and Umeå, Sweden — Mid-to-late September

    • Örnsköldsvik: RISE Processum Pilot Park, MoRe Research pilots and Biorefinery Demonstration Plant

    • Umeå: Torrefaction Pilot (Campus Umeå) and Algae Pilot at Dåva/Umeå Energi (local energy utility)


    Umeå, Sweden — Mid-to-late October

    Presentation of case studies and final discussion/workshop.


    Contents

    The course consists of:

    • On-site demonstration of equipment and technology, lectures and laboratory work;

    • Lectures on essential subjects for large-scale biorefinery or bioenergy research and;

    • A project assignment, typically a case study of a technical innovation system at one of the pilot plants in the cluster.


    Application and prerequisites

    The application for enrolment in Biorefinery Pilot Research will open during the second quarter of 2021. We will post a link here to the registration form.

    This course is recommended for students with an interest in biorefinery at the PhD or postdoctoral level, as well as industry representatives who wish to learn about research and innovation as carried out at the biorefinery-related pilot and demonstration units lining the east coast of Northern Sweden.

    For enquiries regarding the course content, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Events' Archives

  • 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.
  • Gasification 2017, Helsinki, Finland

    ACI’s 6th Annual Gasification Summit, taking place on 15-16 March 2017 in Helsinki, Finland. The conference will comprise two days of formal presentations, interactive roundtable discussions and excellent networking opportunities. The event will be providing an ideal setting to convene with your peers to discuss both current operational & future planned gasification plants, end product markets, potential barriers & support policies as well as project economics & finance.

    Agenda Committee:
    • Thomas von Kossak, Shell
    • Alison Kerester, The Gasification And Syngas Technologies Council
    • Juhani Isaksson, Valmet
    • Reinhard Rauch, Bioenergy 2020+
    • Christiaan Van Der Meijden, Biomass Energy Engineering
    • Chris Higman, Higman Consulting GmbH
    • Silvio Arienti, Amec Foster Wheeler
    • Berend Vreugdenhil, ‎Innovation Manager Gasification, ECN
    Site Visit:

    Exclusive Lahti Energy’s Kymijärvi II power plant Site Visit – Tuesday 14th March 2017

    During the afternoon of 14th of March 2017 up to 40 conference attendees will receive a unique opportunity to visit Lahti Energy’s Kymijärvi II power plant. Kymijärvi II is the world’s first gasification plant that utilizes solid recovered fuel (SRF). At the 160 MW plant, waste-derived fuel is gasified, the gas is cooled down and cleaned, and the clean gas is then burned in the boiler.

    There is no extra charge to attend the site visit, but spaces are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis. Please register your attendance for the site visit when booking for the conference.
  • Green conversion of municipal solid wastes into fuels and chemicals

    Matsakas L, Gao Q, Jansson S, Rova U, Christakopoulos P. 2017. Green conversion of municipal solid wastes into fuels and chemicals. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology. 26:69-83, March
  • Gunnar Öquist Fellowship Awarded Bio4Energy Researcher - Again

    KU bio4energy seBio4Energy researcher Kentaro Umeki has won a Gunnar Öquist Fellowship 2016, which grants him funds and the mentorship of well-respected Swedish plant physiologist Gunnar Öquist. Photo by courtesy of Kentaro Umeki.Bio4Energy researcher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., recruited into Bio4Energy in 2011 and placed at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden, last week received an award named for the well-respected Swedish scientist Gunnar Öquist, who is a member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences and a plant physiologist the Umeå Plant Science Centre.

    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 releasefrom 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.
  • Happy Summer from Bio4Energy

    Bio4Energy bids its researchers, members of the Industrial Network, Board and Steering Group—as well as all stakeholders and followers—a happy summer; or winter if you are in the Southern Hemisphere.

    While many of the Bio4Energy members are officially on summer holidays until mid-August, we can be contacted for urgent matters viaThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. throughout.

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    The first half of 2020 has been like no other year, with events having to move online and important trips being cancelled. Despite this, the Bio4Energy members have adapted and kept working from their private homes or with safety precautions taken while carrying out essential laboratory duties.


    Bio4Energy's management and communications would like to say thank you very much and to keep up the good work!


    For now, the Autumn 2020 Bio4Energy Researchers' Meeting is planned to be an on-location event, 13-14 October at Skellefteå, Sweden.

  • https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/norrbotten/darfor-ar-norr-och-vasterbotten-bast-i-varlden-pa-klimatomstallning?cmpid=del:tw:20210129:darfor-ar-norr-och-vasterbotten-bast-i-varlden-pa-klimatomstallning:nyh:lp

    Därför är Norrbotten och Västerbotten bäst i världen på klimatomställning | SVT Nyheter
  • Lack of Funding Puts End to Large-scale Pilot Trials of BioDME and Bio-based Methanol in Sweden - Audio

    LTU Green Fuels at Pitea SEBiofuel production at large-scale pilot operations at Piteå, Sweden will cease. Photo by courtesy of the Luleå University of Technology.

    LTU Green Fuels at Piteå—Sweden's only large-scale pilot operations for the production of liquid biofuel from forestry residue—are going to cease its activities due to lack of funding, according to a press release issued by its owner, the Luleå University of Technology.

    Despite the pilot plant's having delivered about 1000 tonnes of clean, bio-based dimethyl ether (DME) and methanol, and despite the product having been successfully trialled as fuel in commercial trucking operationsby the car manufacturer Volvo, the Swedish Energy Agency had decided not to extend funding beyond the 100 million Swedish kroner it had granted for the past three years, the press release said. It appears that the current 17 employees at LTU Green Fuels will soon have to look around for other work.

    "I think it's a shame that we have to discontinue the work at the plant but I am nevertheless hopeful that the technology [developed there] has a future. It has been thoroughly verified in our pilot plant", said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., professor at the LTU and part of the research and development platform Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies.

    In successive interviews since the start of Bio4Energy in 2010, he has been pointing out that for industry to take the step to commercialisation, a long-term and stable political framework is needed that is supportive of a large-scale roll out of second-generation or more advanced biofuels and co-products.

  • Network management and renewable energy development: An analytical framework with empirical illustrations

    Newell D, Söderholm P, Sandström AC. 2017. Network management and renewable energy development: An analytical framework with empirical illustrations. Energy Research & Social Science, 23:199-210, January
  • 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.
  • New Leader for Bio4Energy's Environmental Researchers

    StinaJansson platform lead Photo by AnnaStrom copyAssociate professor Stina Jansson is a new leader for the R&D platform Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling. Photo by Bio4Energy.The research and development platform Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recyclinghas a new leader. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., associate professor at Umeå University(UmU), will be taking over the platform leadership from Dan Boström, who has seen his workload increase substantially since becoming Bio4Energy programme manager in February last year. Boström and Jansson will be sharing the leadership over the summer, following which Jansson will shoulder the role fully from 1 September 2017.

    “We are pleased to announce that Stina is a new platform leader in Bio4Energy. She is a young researcher with a great record as an environmental chemist. She is also at a very progressive stage of her career. We are glad that she has accepted to take on the role”, said Boström, professor at UmU, adding that the Bio4Energy Board had passed the decision this month to promote Jansson to the post of platform leader.

    Part of the research environment since its launch in 2010, Jansson was a postgraduate student in the group of the former Bio4Energy programme manager, professor emeritus Stellan Marklund. Her area of expertise includes research to check the environmental credentials of thermal processes for the conversion of biomass.

  • New Programme Managers for Bio4Energy

    ChB LJ EW Bio4Energy C MattiasPetterssonBio4Energy's new management team (from left): Christoffer Boman, Leif Jönsson and Elisabeth Wetterlund. Photo by Mattias Pettersson.Bio4Energy has new programme managers. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Umeå University (UmU) will be acting programme managers and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Luleå University of Technology (LTU) their deputy.

    The appointment comes at a pivotal time, since Bio4Energy is coming up to the close of its second programme period in 2020. Its funder, the Swedish government, is expected to decide this year whether to renew the funding for Sweden’s Strategic Research Environments (SRE), of which Bio4Energy is one.

    It will be up to the newly appointed threesome to lead Bio4Energy into the future.

    “We hope that wise decisions will be made and that the SRE initiative is allowed to continue. We will have to await the arrival of political decision to know more about this”, said Jönsson, professor of Chemistry at UmU.

  • New Project to Assess Feasibility of Countering Intermittency of Renewble Electricity Systems with Bio-based Power

    BM in ren pow systIllustration by courtesy of Elisabeth Wetterlund.System analysis researchers in Bio4Energy, together with colleagues at partner organisations in Europe, are starting a new project that will deliver assessment tools for the integration of electricity produced during biomass conversion operations into power production systems that currently rely on high shares of intermittent renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar.

    "We want to see if biomass can play the role of balancing out unevenness in electricity production based on a great share of renewables", according to project leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who is an associate senior lecturer at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden.

    Last week, the Swedish Research Council Formas announced its intention to fund the project over two years and which will see considerable exchange of expertise between Bio4Energy at LTU, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. The latter two organisations are based in Austria.

    Several European countries are looking to introduce high shares of electricity made from renewable sources in their energy systems, but face the potential problem of either having to store solar and wind power at a high cost or not having enough in store during extended periods of cloudy weather and low winds or, for that matter, in times of even more extreme weather events.
  • New Projects to Map Cost of Increasing Carbon 'Efficiency' of Advanced Biofuels

    Bio4EnergyArlanda SE AnnaStrom2020Some of the feedstock that goes into bio-based jet fuel products being developed goes to waste already in the production process. Bio4Energy researchers have set out to find out how much and what can be done about it. Photo by Bio4Energy. researchers are launching the second in a series of projects, to map the extent of the so-called carbon efficiency of advanced biofuels and calculate the cost of efficiency improvements. In this context, carbon efficiency is a measure of the extent to which the carbon in the bio-based starting material, or feedstock, ends up in the final energy product.

    Whereas the first project looks at a number of routes to produce biofuels for road transport, via specific value chains; the second is focussed on bio-based jet fuel technologies and resulting products.

    According to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., researcher at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden; who leads the project on bio-based jet fuels; there is great variation in the carbon efficiency depending on the process route and technology.

    Biomass gasification employing Fischer–Tropsch technology and alcohols-to-jet, respectively, were two relevant tracks considered in this project in terms of using wood-based feedstock for jet fuel production in the short term, he explained.