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Dalia FORMASDalia Abdelfattah Yacout has done nothing but show her front feet since joining Bio4Energy as a student in 2018. This year she starts her own major research project on finding a sustainable type of biofuel for shipping in the Arctic. Photo used with permission.A young Bio4Energy scientist has won funds for identifying an alternative solution to using fossil fuels for shipping in the Arctic, and for renewable fuel from bio-based waste to replace these former.

Funding body Formas Research Council decided to grant This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a three-year project to identify a biofuel with low environmental and climate change footprint, made from waste from pulp and paper industry in the Arctic region. Abdelfattah, researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, will do so in collaboration with a regional biofuel producer and a couple of senior scientists from Umeå University, Sweden.

If scaled up and implemented, the design is intended to tackle pollution and climate change in the Arctic region, while helping to solve the pulp and paper industry’s problem of excessive waste, as well as providing jobs for the production and transport of advanced biofuel.

The team will concentrate on investigating two existing routes of making biofuel by so-called thermochemical conversion. One draws on tall oil for the production of biodiesel and the other sludge from the pulp and paper industry to make bioethanol.

“These fuels are already used in cars, but we are going to assess whether they can also be used in shipping”, said Abdelfattah.

In fact, the team will start by laying bare the environmental impacts of the two production routes across a number of indicators in a way that has not been done before. Climate change and eutrophication effects will be considered. Cost-benefit analyses will be performed for use by industrial stakeholders and, finally, social impacts calculated.

Governments of nations sharing the Arctic region have recognised the importance of combating pollution and climate change in this environmentally-sensitive region of the world. According to Abdelfattah, the current project is designed to tackle challenges outlined in last year’s update of Sweden’s Strategy for the Arctic Region.

“We are trying to address the concerns in that strategy. Jobs, environmental and social aspects are major points that we are trying to address”, she said.

Abdelfattah is a member of the research and development platform Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy and is based at Uppsala, Sweden.

The project has its own page on the website of Umeå University and is developing its own website, Bioarctic.

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