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Image: Professor Rikard Gebart (fifth from right) surrounded by students
Professor Rikard Gebart Lecturer (fifth from right) surrounded by participants in the course.

Got insight into processes for green fuels

Published: 20 August 2012

A summer course for some 30 PhD students from across the country have recently been completed at Luleå University of Technology (LTU). The students have got a broad survey by experts in the field of gasification to produce green fuels from biomass. The course is held within the framework of Swedish gasification center (SFC) which is coordinated by the University.

- We have managed to put together very well-known people who are guest lecturers during the summer course and I think it will be a very good start for many PhD:s, says Rikard Gebart Professor of Energy Science at Luleå University of Technology and director of the (SFC)

SFC is a national research center where academia and industry work together and where different gasification technologies are studied. Some of the SFC's activities is to keep national summer courses for PhD students working in the area. The purpose of these courses is to give a broad picture of the research to the students.

Photo: Louise Axelsson, PhD from Chalmers who participated in the course
Louise Axelsson, PhD student at Chalmers University of Technology, was one of the participants of the summer course.

- Since I just started as a PhD, it's great to get an introductory course in gasification and this is really an intensive course that has given a lot, says Louise Axelsson, PhD in gasification group at Chalmers University of Technology.

It's not only Louise Axelsson who just started as a PhD, the same goes for a number of participantes in the course. For their part, the course is important to get an overview of the entire field of gasification.

- Some of the students are experts in chemistry, but know nothing or little about the industrial activity. Therefore, we have, for example, raised the issue of investment, finance, calculations and also the demands on the purification of the synthesis gas in the gasification process to produce different kinds of products, says Professor Rikard Gebart.

A holistic perspective is important thinks Louise Axelsson PhD from Chalmers.

- It is very important to understand how everything is connected because then it's easier to understand why you do what you do and you get more motivation to it, she says.

Charlie Ma, Ph.D. student from Luleå University of Technology participated in the course
Charlie Ma, Ph.D. student at Luleå University of Technology was one of the participants of the summer course.

From Luleå University of Technology participating PhD Charlie Ma is impressed by the knowledge offered during the course by all the talented guest teachers with roots in the industry.

- I find it inspiring that so many experts, so many experienced players in the field of gasification are available and want to share their experience, knowledge and intuition when it comes to gasification process. For I suppose that most of us have just started and we really appreciate it, he says.

The SFC has three research nodes, LTU / ETC and Umeå University stands for one part, KTH another and Chalmers a third. Three different gasification technologies are studied with the common goal of extracting energy and fuels from biomass. Operations in SFC has been running for a year and a half. Programs Seminars, workshops and summer schools are important activities in the business, that in its first stage aims to find synergies.

- Through our activities we try to find synergies between the nodes because we are geographically spread over several hundred mil, says Rikard Gebart.

In autumn, the SFC's activities are going to be evaluated and a decision made on another project period covering four years.