Sennai_Mesfun
Sennai Mesfun, PhD in Energy Engineering at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Ted Karlsson. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Better utilization of biomass benefits the environment

Published: 9 August 2016

Biomass is a carbon-neutral resource that can be used to produce energy and fuels. Process integration and optimization in paper mills and sawmills allows biomass from wood to be used more efficiently. This is presented in a new doctoral thesis at Luleå University of Technology.

– Biomass from wood is one of the most important renewable resources in Sweden that can help reduce carbon emissions. Advanced strategies for process integration and optimization in paper mills and sawmills can increase the availability of biomass for energy purposes, says Sennai Mesfun, PhD in Energy Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

Improvement of existing process configurations can lead to increased profitability of the forest industry by saving more biomass or that more energy can be produced with the same amount of resources. However, transformation of traditional forest industry plants into biorefineries producing chemical fuels and power requires subsidies in order to become profitable. In addition, biomass as a baseload can enable large scale exploitation of intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar energy.

– The results of my research can make it easier for politicians to make informed decisions in order to reduce carbon emissions where biomass can play an important role.

The research is mainly funded by Bio4Energy, a strategic research environment appointed by the Swedish government. Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency have also contributed with funding.

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