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Swedish Energy Agency

  • Bio4Energy Part of Nation-wide Effort to Develop Non-fossil Airplane Fuel

    Parked airplane AnnaStrom2021Bio4Energy scientists and members of its Industrial Network are part of Sweden's effort to develop non-fossil airplane fuel. Photo by Anna Strom©2021.This year has seen large-scale effort in Sweden to render possible the creation and development of non-fossil airplane fuel, so-called jet fuel, a press release from the state-run Swedish Energy Agency said. Bio4Energy is part of this effort, both through scientists and members of the Bio4Energy Industrial Network.

    Experts at developing membranes for various industrial processes, are using the microporous solid material zeolite (ZSM-5, to be precise) as a catalyst in the production of bio-based hydrocarbon olefins or petrol from methanol. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., professor at Bio4Energy partner Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and colleagues are developing a process for making heavy hydrocarbons via the catalyst, without intermediate steps, according to a project description. 

    Industrial and institute partners are Haldor Topsoe, RISE Innventia and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

    Meanwhile, the Municipality of Umeå and Biofuel Region, have teamed up to assess needs in terms of policy development and market support mechanisms for rolling out fossil-fuel free fuel use by airlines flying on northern Sweden.

    The project will result in a roadmap for a transition to a sustainable airline industry in the northern part of the country, a project description said. Industrial partners are Swedavia, the company that operates Sweden’s ten busiest airports, along with the membership company RISE Processum and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

  • Conference: Flera filer mot framtidens drivmedel, Stockholm, Sweden

    Konferensen samarrangeras årligen av Energimyndigheten och f3 Svenskt kunskapscentrum för förnybara drivmedel inom ramen för samverkansprogrammet Förnybara drivmedel och system.
  • Lignin, Pyrolysis Oil, to Become 'Bio-crude' for Use in Fossil Oil Refineries, Biofuels

    Lignin hyrdocracker SP ETC 25516Hyrdocracker reactor for pre-treated biomass. Illustration by courtesy of Magnus Marklund.New pilot facilities for the upgrading of lignin (which plant matter makes up roughly a third of the wood in trees) and of pyrolysis oil to a crude bio-based oil, or "bio-crude", is being installed at Bio4Energy member organisation SP Energy Technology Center(SP ETC) at Piteå, Sweden. The oil giant Preem has positioned itself as a forerunner in the search for renewable alternatives to fossil oil in its refined products, and are financing the new infrastructure at the SP ETC together with the Swedish Energy Agency and others.

    "The technology is based on a principle in use in [fossil] oil refineries for the cracking and hydrogenation of fossil residual streams. We will be making a form of bio-crude which is adapted for going straight into a refinery, as a type of blend-in product which can be added to upgrade crude oil", said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., CEO at the SP ETC.

    The product of the pilot operations will be entirely bio-based, with the lignin content having been previously extracted from black liquor, which is a residual stream in pulping, and the pyrolysis oil made on the premises from forestry residue, such as tree tops and branches from northern Sweden forests. Marklund said that the new facilities, small enough to fit into a standard container, would be taken into operation in the last quarter of this year with a specific lignin and pyrolysis upgrading project in mind and which would end in the first quarter of 2017.

    "In this first one the end product will be blend-in biofuels. In a longer term perspective the pilot will be used more generally [for the upgrading of] liquefied biomass", according to Marklund who is a PI on the research and development platform Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies.
  • 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.

  • Opportunity for Pulp Mill Operators to Make Climate-efficient 'Drop-in' Biofuels while Increasing Pulp Production Capacity

    Collage Sodra Morrum2 220920From the operating sites of two of the project partners: the Södra Cell Mörrum pulp mill and a worker at the Smurfit Kappa paper mill (insert). Both operations are in Sweden. Photos by courtesy of Per Pixel and Caroline Lundmark, respectively.A new report designed to lay bare the potential for coupling pulp production with biofuel making from pulping residue, shows that there is a double benefit to be had in doing so for pulp mill operators.

    First, production capacity could be increased at existing mills. Second, climate-efficient transport biofuel could be produced at a cost per energy unit that is on a par or better, compared with similar biofuels made from residues from forestry operations.

    The new fuels would be so-called drop-in biofuels, which means that they are functional equivalents of their petroleum fuel counterparts and thus can be directly blended in with these latter at any ratio.

    The researchers' report identifies two main technologies that would put the production cost of the biofuel at 80 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh) or about 65-to-75 euro cents per litre. It is the result of a collaboration project between Bio4Energy systems analysis researchers at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden, companies in the sector and researchers from the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

  • 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.

  • Prospects for Rollout of Poplar Plantations Investigated as Means to Increase Biofuel Production in Sweden

    Collage Populus plantation Bio4Energy2020 400Populus plants at the researchers' field trial plantation in southern Sweden. Photos by courtesy of Henrik Böhlenius.Researchers in Bio4Energy and a partner will investigate the potential for a rollout in Sweden of plantations of fast-growing poplar trees—Populus trichocarpa in Latin—as a means to increase biomass productionfor making renewable automotive fuels from wood and woody residue.

    While there is a great body of scientific literature to describe the trees and their properties in themselves, information on the economics and technical feasibility of doing so at a large scale is relatively scant, according to project leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., scientist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Contrary to most of the other Bio4Energy scientists who are based in the Swedish north, he is in the southernmost part of the country, at Alnarp.

    “We see a great potential for [rollout of] this type of plantation, along the lines of one million hectares that could be added to the current domestic production of bioenergy”, Böhlenius said.

    Sweden would benefit from making more advanced biofuels—renewable fuels that do not compete with food production and meet high quality standards in terms of their greenhouse gas footprint—at an affordable cost.

    Land is available, to believe official statistics. Roughly 400,000 hectares of agricultural land could be planted with poplar without jeopardsing food production. Another one-to-two million hectare of spruce tree plantations, sitting on former agricultural land, could be used to plant poplar or other fast-growing tree species. 

  • Pyrolysis Oil from Biomass Could Be Early Alternative to Fossil Oil in Transition to Society Fuelled by Renewables

    MM Pyrolysis 16615Magnus Marklund and his team at the SP ETC will be able to continue the development of applications of biomass-based pyrolysis oil, thanks to new funding grants from the Swedish Energy Agency and Kempe Foundations. Photo by Maria Fäldt.Pyrolysis of biomass—thermochemical decomposition of wood or organic waste at elevated temperatures and with minimal presence of oxygen—could be an "interesting" option in a transition to replacing today's fossil oil with renewable alternatives, according to a Bio4Energy expert on the thermal conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals. Thus far, however, lack of knowledge about the composition of the bio-oil obtained from pyrolysis of wood or woody waste has been a hindrance efficiently to design techniques for producing and using such bio-oil, to believe researchers in Bio4Energy at the SP Energy Technology Center(SP ETC) at Piteå, in Sweden.

    After five years of research in Bio4Energy, and three new funding grants enabling the start of two research projects and the purchase of state-of-the-art instrumentation, that may be about to change.

    Until recently, "perhaps 50 per cent of the contents of the oil made by way of pyrolysis could be mapped by ordinary gas chromatography and other methods", said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., CEO at the SP ETC, having just received the announcement of two research grants worth more than eight million Swedish kronor from the Swedish Energy Agency, plus support for highly advanced analytical equipment called GCxGC MS from the Kempe Foundations. GC is short for gas chromatography, which in this case is two dimensional, but in this new instrument it has been coupled with a technique called mass spectrometry.

    "With the new funding from the Energy Agency for the research projects and for a state-of-the-art analytic instrument from Kempe we are going to complement, strengthen and inventory what is being done on an international top level.
  • Seminar on Bio-based Feedstock: 'Make No Mistake, There is Still Momentum for Building the Bioeconomy'

    Is the efficient and sustainable biorefinery of the future challenged by the low price of oil and gas and the lack of a political framework that encourages bio-based production in the long term? Yes. Have actors in the sector shut up shop while waiting for conditions to be right for launching the bioeconomy? Not at all.

    Judging from developments in Sweden, a precursor country in terms of biorefinery development based on woody materials and organic waste, great strides are being made in industry and academia to pave the way for a transition from an economy heavily reliant fossil fuels and materials based on petrochemicals, towards a bioeconomy. A few such developments were highlighted yesterday at a seminar at Umeå, in northern Sweden, on Feedstock for Sustainable Biofuel Production, by the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3 Centre), the research environment Bio4Energy and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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