Tag Archive for: Luleå University of Technology

September Start for Bio4Energy’s Training to Scale up Bio-based Innovations

Bio4Energy’s training on the scale up of bio-based innovations is starting again in September. The application is open as of today.

The backdrop is substantial new investments in test beds and development facilities in the region of northern Sweden where the research environment is based.

“We will go onsite visiting not only pilot [installations] of different types, but whole factories in our network of actors based along the coast at Örnsköldsvik, Piteå and Umeå.

“We will see this great variation and speak to the developers themselves”, said course coordinator Francesco Gentili.

“We will go onsite visiting not only pilot installations of different types, but whole factories in our network of actors based along the coast at Örnsköldsvik, Piteå and Umeå. We will see this great variation and speak to the developers themselves”.

He is not only an associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, but also the man behind facilities for microalgae research and development run in collaboration with regional energy utility Umeå Energi.

Biorefinery Pilot Research, as the course is called, is the flagship of the Bio4Energy Graduate School on the Innovative Use of Biomass.

Bio4Energy draws together the regions foremost universities and institutes dealing with the development of methods and tools for conducting biorefinery based on woody residues and industrial organic waste. As such, it is on a mission to provide education and training to help provide the sector with knowledge workers of tomorrow’s bioeconomy and advanced students with top-of-the-line education.

The course is offered as a mixture of intensive days of onsite visits—starting 2-4 September at Piteå—with time in between where students work to develop their own projects. They do this either by implementing an aspect of upscaling in their own PhD project or; if they are postdoctoral fellows established as researchers; they may create something new.

“We speak to and learn from capable fundamental researchers, all the way up to industrialists”.

“We speak to [and learn from] capable fundamental researchers, all the way up to industrialists”, Gentili told Bio4Energy Communications.

The group goes on study visits to well-known companies in the sector such as SunPine and the large pilot LTU Green Fuels at Piteå, as well as their institute partner in Bio4Energy, RISE Energy Technology Center.

Further south, at Örnsköldsvik, key contacts in the Bio4Energy Industrial Network will show them the new RISE Bioeconomy Arena, Domsjö Fabriker, SEKAB and RISE Processum. At Umeå, finally, Gentili will showcase the algae pilot and include a tour of Arevo, which has gone from being a Bio4Energy researcher upstart to a full-grown company offering a new kind of plant nutrition product that does not create toxic leakage, while being highly efficient.

“We stay, eat and study together and it creates the opportunity for networking”, Gentili said, adding a reflection on the bigger picture;

“It creates job opportunities. We train people to know the infrastructure and strengthen the collaboration in our region”.

Contacts

Francesco Gentili — Course coordinator Biorefinery Pilot Research

Dimitris Athanassiadis — Coordinator for the Bio4Energy Graduate School

Bio4Energy Graduate School

Biorefinery Pilot Research, 5 ECTS

Course Brochure and Application

Related News

Bio4Energy Graduate School: Development of Biorefinery Innovations Up Next

New Coordinator for Graduate School: Course Starts in 2024

Spin-off Wins Prize for ‘Great Potential’ of Plant Nutrition Products with Minimal Footprint

RISE to Invest SEK350 Million in Its Biorefinery Test Bed Environments

Training on Wood Biology, Biotechnology Fills Gap for Advanced Students of Biorefinery

Mini FEATURE. Northern Sweden, last week was home to advanced students affiliated with universities in Finland, Czech Republic, Belgium and Sweden—spending an intensive week at the city of Umeå—to learn about the frontline of science of wood biology and biotechnology.

Hosted by a leading wood biologists, Ewa Mellerowicz of the Umeå Plant Science Centre and Bio4Energy, this ad-hoc training is offered for the second time to equip advanced students interested in wood biology, tree breeding and biorefinery development with an edge.

“This course fills a gap and provides an overview of biological processes, explaining how they lead to developing different kinds of wood, and how they affect wood traits of economic importance”, the online course description says:

“Lectures and seminars are given by world experts in the field”. 

“This course fills a gap and provides an overview of biological processes, explaining how they lead to developing different kinds of wood, and how they affect wood traits of economic importance. Lectures and seminars are given by world experts in the field”.

When I stop by, the students are in full swing presenting posters to each other, a common feature both in advanced education and at scientific conferences.

“It is going great”, Hannele Tuominen, professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and platform leader in Bio4Energy, greets me.

“We have 20 students and here they learn to attack the issues we are discussing from every angle. We have a lineup of experts here to teach them [on location]. This is our strength”, Tuominen says.

“Most students have a molecular biology or wood chemistry background”, Mellerowicz fills in. She also has an affiliation with the Umeå branch of SLU. She agrees with a smile that it is great but exhausting;

“The students are here all week with a full programme in the daytime and then social activities in the evening”.

Most of them are much too busy liaising with each other to talk to me, but Bio4Energy student Anna Renström of Umeå University, is here just for the evening poster session.

“We have a new publication on wood formation in hybrid aspen that lets us know more about the lignin formation. Now we need to apply [the concept] to other species such as spruce and we need to conduct field trials to understand whether it really works”, she says expertly.

Renström is being supervised by Tuominen and others who are part of the teaching line up and I think to myself that it shows.

Contact

Ewa Mellerowicz, Umeå Plant Science Centre — Affiliation with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

For more information

Wood Biology and Biotechnology, 5 ECTS

Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstocks

Umeå Plant Science Centre

Seeing Possibilities: Meet Bio4Energy’s Coordinator for Swedish funder BioInnovation

Bio4Energy’s new coordinator for BioInnovation, Swedish funder of bio-based innovations, is Ulrika Rova, professor at Luleå University of Technology.

Rova sees herself not only as the research environment’s representative with an overview of possibilities for applying for funds, but also as a facilitator and a bearer of information to potential collaboration partners representing other organisations in the bio-based sector.

“I need first to study the offer and future calls for projects, but then I can be a channel for information going both ways”, Rova told Bio4Energy Communications.

Structured as a member organisation, BioInnovation evaluates and funds a range of projects on behalf of the Swedish national funding agencies Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency. Bio4Energy is a founding member, or a “party”, and involved in its divisions on Materials, as well as Chemicals and Energy.

Structured as a member organisation, BioInnovation evaluates and funds a range of projects on behalf of the Swedish national funding agencies Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency. Bio4Energy is a founding member, or a “party”, and involved in its divisions on Materials, as well as Chemicals and Energy.

“Our vision is that Sweden will have transitioned to a circular economy by 2050. We are going to create optimal conditions for developing the Swedish bio-based sector and create sustainable solutions for a global market”, the Swedish version of BioInnovation’s website said (ed’s translation).

Two projects headed up by Bio4Energy research leaders stand out: Joint production of edible mushroom and advanced biofuel, as well as production of food-grade prebiotics from forest resources and sea squirts, a colonial tunicate.

The latter is a small sea-living invertebrate that has an outer protective cover; a tunic consisting of a cellulose-like substance; which is the target for developing prebiotics for human and animal consumption.

Rova led the prebiotics project. Given that Bio4Energy is a member since 2015, I want to know what might promote a more high-profile participation in BioInnovation-funded projects.

“The requirement of 50 per cent co-funding by proprietary users, that is an industrial partner, could be perceived as a challenge. As an [academic] researcher, you need to have a good contact network in industry”, Rova said.

“I will be participating the annual and biannual meetings and provide an overview of possibilities going both ways”, she said.

Professor Ulrika Rova is a veteran member of Bio4Energy. She served as deputy director of the research environment during its second five-year mandate, ending in 2019. Instrumental in developing education and training, she was the first head of the Bio4Energy Graduate School. She is a senior member of one of Bio4Energy’s research platforms, Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion. Her home organisation is Luleå University of Technology where she is part of a Paul Christakopoulos' research group specialising in biochemical process technology. In later years, the group has been focusing on carbon dioxide capture and reuse, as well as bioprocesses for upcycling of plastics and managing EU projects.

Contact

Ulrika Rova, Bio4Energy Coordinator for BioInnovation — Affiliation with Luleå University of Technology

For more information

BioInnovation

Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies

Related News (In Swedish)

Det stora blå – med enorm potential i framtidens hållbara utveckling – BioInnovation

Inhemsk odling av delikata matsvampar i sikte – och biodrivmedel på köpet – BioInnovation

Svensk innovation kan ge billigare matsvampar – BioInnovation

Fördelen med att odla läckra svampar på björkved – BioInnovation

Senior lecturer and instrumentation expert Fredrik Forsberg, at Luleå University of Technology Geolab in 2022. Photo by courtesy of Fredrik Forsberg.

Bio4Energy Partner LTU Part of ‘Largest Investment in Material Science in Sweden’

A Swedish funder of research in the bio-based sector has announced the largest investment ever in the northern European country in terms of sustainable material science, and notably in infrastructure to advance it.

Bio4Energy partner Luleå University of Technology (LTU) is one of seven research universities to benefit, having won a hefty SEK52 million (€4.6 million) grant to fund instrumentation that will allow researchers quickly to measure various material reactions to flow, pressure or load and to variations in climate.

“The equipment will be unique in Sweden. We are right here in northern Sweden where the large industrial investments towards the green transition are located”, said Fredrik Forsberg, Bio4Energy expert at fluid and experimental mechanics at LTU.

“We are going to build a strong node for material science research; focusing on minerals, metals and hydrogen; all of which are essential raw materials in this transition”, Forsberg added.

“We are going to build a strong node for material science research; focusing on minerals, metals and hydrogen; all of which are essential raw materials in this transition”.

The vision of the Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE), where the seven universities are members, is to “enable sustainable technologies with positive impact on our society by understanding, creating and controlling complex materials”, according to its homepage.

It is the single largest investment in material research in Sweden—the share going to LTU is one tenth of the total—and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is behind it.

In the case of LTU, the grant monies will be invested both in infrastructure at the university and at the southern Sweden-based synchrotron Max IV Laboratory; where beamlines for very advanced X-ray-based research is available for scientists from all over the world.

“We expect to start using the new equipment a year from now. It will be available to all WISE researchers and for all in joint projects regarding sustainability issues”, Forsberg said.

From the presentation late 2019 of its Green Deal, the European Union started referring to the “green transition” as being a bridge in time to meeting goals in terms of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and arresting environmental degradation.

Advanced Characterisation Techniques at the Luleå Material Imaging and Analysis Facility (WISE ACT @LUMIA) at Luleå University of Technology include high-resolution 3D X-ray imaging (dynamic/high-energy/spectral XCT) and precision milling (laser ablation FIB) coupled with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The platform offers excellent capabilities for analysis related to the new technologies emerging in northern Sweden, the hotspot for the green transition. Key research areas, in close collaboration with leading industry, include fossil-free steel, carbon dioxide and hydrogen storage, sustainable batteries, extraction of critical raw materials, and additive manufacturing. 
From WISE Technology Platforms, wise-materials.org

Contact

Fredrik Forsberg — Affiliation with Luleå University of Technology

New as of 5 February 2024: Scientific article

Advanced materials provide solutions towards a sustainable world, Nature Materials 17, 1052–1053.

For more information

Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE)

WISE at Luleå University of Technology (LTU)

Luleå Material Imaging and Analysis Facility

Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion

Biomass Feedstock, PhD Education, Synchrotron Research in Focus at Bio4Energy Event

The recent Bio4Energy Researchers’ Meeting, drawing together sixty of its researchers to meet at Umea in northern Sweden, is real-life example of the deliveries that Bio4Energy took on making as a Strategic Research Environment, appointed by the Swedish government.

Biomass input materials for making renewable fuels, chemicals and materials

The members of the Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstocks platform are designing trees that are better suited to resist challenging climatic conditions and to grow faster. Tree genes are studied in depth for the purpose of knowing how to enable an easy separation of the polymers in the wood matrix, for the production of advanced biofuels, “green” chemicals and bio-based materials. Four group leaders presented their latest research on wood engineering and characterisation, as well as resilience in times of climate change.

Education and training for advanced students: Tomorrow’s knowledge workers of the bioeconomy

Bio4Enegy’s core curriculum is contained in the courses of its Graduate School. Biorefinery Pilot Research gives students access to the unique park of pilot and demonstration facilities that line the coast of northeastern Sweden. Students construct and conduct their own projects to experience the innovation process hands on. First-hand access to professionals in industry and their peers allow for networking.

The new History of Biorefining in Nordic Countries‘ training paints the background of biorefinery development, as well as current trends and progress. Study visits and sessions on sustainability challenges alert students to the fact that we need to do better tomorrow to achieve circularity; efficient and effective production systems with low or no pollution escaping out into the environment.

Course coordinator Francesco Gentili flagged that Biorefinery Pilot Research will be given in connection with the Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference at Örnsköldsvik in autumn 2024, while Carmen Cristescu outlined the outcomes of the first ever edition of History of Biorefining, which just concluded in November this year.

Shining bright like a Bio4Energy student

Eleven of them painted the gist of their bio-based projects in minutes-long talks and fleshed them out later on research project posters, which were the focus of discussion during mingling time. Three winners of Best Poster Presentation were selected by a jury composed of more senior Bio4Energy colleagues.

Nitrogen regulated wood formation, Anna Renström — Forest-based Feedstocks

Biopolymers from residues: A Comparative characterisation of Halomonas boliviensis PHB, Diego Miranda — Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion

What Makes a Tree a Tree?, Edouardo Soldado — Forest-based Feedstocks

Conference presentations

Forest feedstocks in the context of climate change, Sonali Ranade — Forest-based Feedstocks

Engineering of forest feedstocks for bioeconomy, Ewa Mellerowicz — Forest-based Feedstocks

Dark matter of the spruce genome, Peter Kindgren — Forest-based Feedstocks

Developments in forest feedstock characterisation, Gerhard Scheepers — Forest-based Feedstocks

Bio4Energy Graduate School: Biorefinery Pilot Research, Francesco Gentili — Enviroment and Nutrient Recycling

National infrastructure and synchrotron-related research, Nils Skoglund — Enviroment and Nutrient Recycling

Treesearch and Formax, Mikael Thyrel — Feedstock Pre-processing

Meeting programme

New Monies for Research to Bio4Energy Scientists from Swedish National Funders

A number of Bio4Energy research leaders have won funds in this year’s round of grants from the prestigious Swedish Research Council VR.

VR made its announcement this month, unveiling multi-million Swedish kronor grants to fund scientific research projects in its category for Natural and Engineering Sciences.

The projects and their participants are listed, as follows.

  • 2ndUpChance: A second chance for Upcycling of Microplastics, Paul Christakopoulos, Luleå University of Technology – Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion. LTU co-applicants are Kerstin Ramser, Suman Bajracharya, Alok Kumar Patel, Leonidas Matsakas and Ulrika Rova.
  • To Grow or to Defend? Deciphering defence—growth strategies in pine and spruce under local light conditions in Sweden, Rosario García-Gil, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstocks. Co-applicants are Malin Elfstrand and Sonali Sachin Ranade, both SLU.
  • Fundamental Understanding of Diffusion in Zeolites, Jonas Hedlund, Luleå University of Technology – Bio4Energy Catalysis and Separation. Co-applicants are Liang Yu, LTU and Igor Zozoulenko, Linköping University.
  • Molecular Control of Carbon Storage in Trees, Totte Nittylä, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstocks
  • Heat and Mass Transfer of Reactive Porous Particles, Kentaro Umeki, Luleå University of Technology – Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion. Co-applicant Nils Erland Haugen has a double affiliation to LTU and to SINTEF Energy, respectively.
  • Evolution of Characteristics in Layers of Bed Particles: For next generation of thermal conversion processes for biomass in fluidised beds, Marcus Öhman, Luleå University of Technology – Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion. LTU co-applicant is Fredrik Forsberg.
  • Decoding of the Role of Lignin Chemistry for Plant Growth, Development and Resistance to Drought, Edouard Pesquet, Stockholm University – Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstocks. Co-applicant is Tanja Slotte, SU.

The latter recipient also scored a multiannual grant for his research proposal to Formas Research Council, which announced the outcome of its Annual Open Call around the same time.

3DWOOD—Printable Wood as an Alternative to Plastic: A composite wood material with new characteristics made from stem cell cultures and glued together with natural lignin, Edouard Pesquet, Stockholm University – Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstocks. Co-applicant is Aji Mathew, SU.

Related News

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Bio4Energy Researcher Awarded Medal for ‘Exceptional Contribution’ – Bio4Energy

Three-year Project Could Set Steelmaker Well on Way to Hydrogen-based Operations – Bio4Energy

Plants Adapt their Lignin Using Chemical ‘Encoding’ Enzymes, New Report Suggests – Bio4Energy

Innovation Award for R&D on Biogas Separation Technology to Bio4Energy Researcher – Bio4Energy

Polymer Lignin May Be Modified for Drought Resistance in Plants – Bio4Energy

Phase Out of Fossil Coal in Sweden’s Iron, Steel Industries on Cards – Bio4Energy

Large Project on Integration of UN SDGs in Forest Management to Target Genetic Tree Breeding – Bio4Energy

Economics professor Robert Lundmark says that all three aspects of sustainable development should be taken together when assessing the role of forest in climate change perspective. Photo by courtesy of Robert Lundmark.

Role of Forests in Reining in Climate Change, Producing Energy

When it comes to the role of the forest in a perspective of climate change mitigation and energy production, a full picture including all aspects impacting their use and benefits is required to start to making sense of the “undeniably complex” discussion taking place in the media and politics.

All aspects of the forest as an economic resource, a provider of recreational value and its capacity for carbon sequestration should be considered, according to an academic expert on the matter.

Professor in Economics Robert Lundmark, Luleå University of Technology, tries to do just that, in a new report from independent nonprofit organisation Centre for Business and Policy Studies (SNS), headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden but with a 30-country-strong membership, according to its website.

Centering on the case of Sweden, with its history of forestry and timber exports, Lundmark starts by discussing the economically profit-bearing aspects of forestry. Timber and renewable energy production both bring revenue to an important business sector and prop up the Swedish economy.

He goes onto billing production of bio-based (or “green”) chemicals as having a beneficial social impact; along with forests or forested areas set aside for recreation or tourism activities.

Biodiversity and its protection and the forest’s capacity to act as a carbon sink, are among environmental considerations, he holds.

All these aspects should be included in a total analysis, according to Lundmark; for any estimates of appropriate trade-offs between the different areas to make sense.

“This is existing knowledge put in a different perspective… It is a balancing act to arrive at an optimal utilisation of forests. We need to consider all societal values or we can easily go wrong”.

Role of science, politics, markets

He stresses, however, that the role of science is to provide assessments and that of politics to correct missteps due to market “failure”.

“A functioning market guarantees an efficient allocation of forest resources. That is how it works in the trading of goods and services. The role of politicians is to correct market failures, for instance in cases where forest owners are not paid for preserving all benefits of the forest. That is why we highlight the discussion about internalising the cost of goods and services”.

A quick check of the Oxford Languages gives that to internalise in an economic sense, means to incorporate costs as part of a pricing structure, especially social costs resulting from the manufacture and use of a product.

Forests as a carbon sink

The assessments that scientists do are still important, because any attempts at cutting greenhouse gases must be cost efficient, according to Lundmark.

“We see that compensation would be required for change to be made on a large scale. Today forest owners are not compensated for leaving the trees in the forest” to promote longer rotation periods.

He says that the starting point is to recognise that forests and their trees are a finite resource and one that becomes more and more in demand along with economic growth.

“It is undeniably a complex debate with many dimensions to account for: Forest management, ecology, social and economic aspects and technical aspects. All of them must come into consideration when we estimate benefits and trade-offs”, Lundmark said.

Contact

Robert Lundmark — Affiliation with Luleå University of Technology

Bio4Energy Systems Analysis and Bioeconomy

Expert Report

The Role of Forests in the Energy and Climate Transition, Summary in English

Bio4Energy is Delivering Methods, Tools to Industry as Promised

Regional collaboration and research in the areas of thermochemical conversion of biomass and feedstock pre-processing, respectively, were on the menu as Bio4Energy scientists and advanced students met at Skellefteå, Sweden this month.

The event showed, most notably, that a good decade after its start, the Bio4Energy research environment is indeed doing what it set out to in 2010: Delivering methods and tools in the areas of bio-based materials, “green” chemicals and advanced biofuels.

Thermochemical Conversion, one of two process platforms in Bio4Energy, is cooperating with leading actors in industry; to provide the foundations for replacing fossil fuels with biocarbon in steel-making operations.

Another branch of the TC platform is developing “green” carbon black from forest industrial residue; the early news of which spurred interest from European and Russian industry, eager to follow developments.

As we reported in March, the Feedstock Pre-processing platform not only keeps delivering dried or fractionated biomass to customers in industry, but also eyes a shift in focus to examine the ways in which critical raw materials can be supplied to the region in a safe and sustainable manner.

Finally, the meeting received a run down on current European Union policy developments affecting the forest industrial sector.

As a service to our followers, we will link below as many of the research presentations given as we are allowed to. Please check back with this page, if they have not yet been posted. Press or click a title, to access its link.

Research Presentations

Biochar characterisation, using state-of-the-art techniques — Anna Strandberg, Bio4Energy Feedstock Pre-processing

Multi-blade shaft milling for preserving the native structure of milled products — Atanu Kumar Das, Bio4Energy Feedstock Pre-processing

Related News

A model of the Vertisà AB vertical gardening module. Photo by courtesy of Vertisà AB.

Inventions by Bio4Energy Researchers Highlighted by Royal Academy for Future Potential

Zeolite membranes for gas separation, vertical gardens and reuse of textiles to make composites. These are subjects of collaboration projects by Bio4Energy researchers who have made this year’s 100 List hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineer Sciences (KSLA).

To make the List, it takes a research project deemed to have “great potential to be useful”. This usefulness is thought of as potential for commercialisation of the product or concept studied, for development of either business or methods, or for providing thought leadership.

Another key criterion is for the project leader or researchers on the project to have expressed interest in collaborating with industry or related entities to further develop their invention.

Membrane technology for gas separation in use, tends to be bulky, energy intensive and cost a lot. Bio4Energy researchers Jonas Hedlund and Liang Yu are perfecting and developing ultra-thin zeolite membranes that take up less space and use less energy to perform the separation. These membranes would provide a large cost reduction if rolled out on a large scale, according to the scientists.

With Vertisà Ltd, Rosario García-Gil and team propose a module vertical garden that can be added onto the exterior of a house and mimics a natural ecosystem. Complete with a built-in watering system, which has been patented, it is not only designed to help with greenhouse gas capture in cities, but also serves to insulate and beautify the wall it is attached to. The module is both low-technology and low cost, according to the project leader.

A new process has been invented, which allows for reuse of scrapped textiles as a component in a new, strong type of composite material based on a mixture of discarded textiles and plastics. Kristiina Oksman and co-workers used a piece of process equipment called extruder, to mix the cut fabrics with plastics. The resulting composite is two fifths textiles and costs less than the standalone plastic polymer.

Contacts

Jonas Hedlund and Liang Yu, Bio4Energy Catalysis and Separation, affiliation with Luleå University of Technology

Rosario García-Gil, Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstocks, affiliation with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Kristiina Oksman, Bio4Energy Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion, affiliation with Luleå University of Technology

Three-year Project Could Set Steelmaker Well on Way to Hydrogen-based Operations

Industry and academia are teaming up to enable a phase out of fossil fuels in Sweden-based steelmaking industry. Steelmaker SSAB will be collaborating with Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and the metal industry’s research institute Swerim.

After many years of preparatory work, and a multitude of projects, nearly SEK50 million (€4.1 million) will be invested over three years by the European Union and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, according to a press release from LTU. The feasibility of using biogenic carbon sources in hydrogen production is already being demonstrated in studies by Bio4Energy scientists and others.

However, the present project could give the industry a decisive push in laying bare an efficient and economically viable path ahead for transitioning from fossil coal to “green” hydrogen, using biocarbon.

“We [want to arrive at] the best way possible to implement biomass into the flow of steelmaking… We have to make an optimal overall process: An optimised value chain as a whole”, said Kentaro Umeki, professor at LTU Energy Technology.

Four Bio4Energy research leaders are involved. Umeki and Fredrik Granberg are experts at thermochemical conversion of biomass, while Joakim Lundgren and Andrea Toffolo will be collaborating with others to assess biomass availability and possibly also where best to localise facilities geographically for its pre-treatment.

“The industry wants to scale up. This is a push from them. They have several years to build a full-scale plant. They are discussing with engineers” about the way in which to go about it, Umeki said.

The overall project is called FINAST, which is the Swedish acronym for Research and Innovation in Norrbotten for Advanced Green Steel Production and Manufacture. It is headed up by professor Jens Hardell at LTU Machine Elements.

“I think that the FINAST project is a fantastic example of Bio4Energy and CH2ESS joining forces”, said professor Lundgren; with reference to LTU’s Centre for Hydrogen Energy Systems Sweden. It has the aim to integrate production, storage and transport of hydrogen in an optimal way and includes process integration in relation to the electrical power system. 

Contacts

Kentaro Umeki, Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion, affiliation with Luleå University of Technology

Joakim Lundgren, Bio4Energy Systems Analysis and Bioeconomy, affiliation with Luleå University of Technology