Biogas in a sustainable society: a course for you who want to know all about biogas!

The course will provide you knowledge in all aspects related to biogas. You will get an understanding of the whole cycle which includes recycling of residual products, production of fuel and biofertilizer and much more. It suits you who are interested in working with the future transition to a circular economy and climate neutrality.

Conversion pathways to achieve our climate goals must take place quickly and sustainably. Biogas is one of the solutions that has a significant role in our future and fossil-free society. This is a course for you who want to get an overall picture of biogas – how it is produced and contributes to a circular and resource-efficient society.

Next course: 18 Jan – 23 Mar 2021

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2020

Apply here!

Click on the image below for more information about the course:

BRC Newsletter nr. 6 is out!

Our latest BRC newsletter is out!
Our idea is to provide a way for you to keep up informed on interesting upcoming and last activities carried out  in BRC.
Click on the image below to get to newsletter no. 6/2020 (in Swedish).

Here you will also find all our previous newsletters during the ongoing stage.

Nice reading!

BRC new publication!

Shaping sustainable markets—A conceptual framework illustrated by the case of biogas in Sweden

Mikael Ottosson, Thomas Magnusson, Hans Andersson

Abstract: By merging findings from transition studies with recent literature on market-shaping, this paper outlines a conceptual framework that describes the shaping of sustainable markets. The framework comprises three critical processes: enabling exchange practices, proving the system and constructing the narrative. Individually, these processes generate different kinds of value – traded, demonstrated and expected value – and the value output from each process serves as input to the other two processes. Hence the value streams link the processes together. We illustrate the framework by analyzing market-shaping processes for biogas in Sweden. The case analysis shows how public and private actors have engaged in a multitude of activities that have built up the market-shaping processes. The analysis highlights the recursive nature of sustainable market-shaping, showing how key actors must repeatedly respond to tensions resulting from growth and aspirations of growth.

You can read the article here:

BRC new publication!

Cleaner heavy transports – Environmental and economic analysis of liquefied natural gas and biomethane

Marcus Gustafsson & Niclas Svensson

Abstract: Looking to reduce climate change impact and particle emissions, the heavy-duty transport sector is moving towards a growth within technology and infrastructure for use of liquefied natural gas (LNG). This opens an opportunity for the biogas market to grow as well, especially in the form of liquefied biomethane (LBM). However, there is a need to investigate the economic conditions and the possible environmental benefits of using LBM rather than LNG or diesel in heavy transports. This study presents a comparison of well-to-wheel scenarios for production, distribution and use of LBM, LNG and diesel, assessing both environmental and economic aspects in a life cycle perspective. The results show that while LNG can increase the climate change impact compared to diesel by up to 10%, LBM can greatly reduce the environmental impact compared to both LNG and diesel. With a German electricity mix, the climate change impact can be reduced by 45 – 70% compared to diesel with LBM from manure, and by 50 – 75% with LBM from food waste. If digestate is used to replace mineral fertilizer, the impact of LBM can even be less than 0. However, the results vary a lot depending on the type of feedstock, the electricity system and whether the calculations are done according to RED or ISO guidelines. Economically, it can be hard for LBM to compete with LNG, due to relatively high production costs, and some form of economic incentives are likely required.

You can read the article here (in English):

    Gustafsson & Svensson 2020. Journal of Cleaner Production 123535

BRC new publication!

Dimensions and characteristics of biogas policies – Modelling the European policy landscape

Marcus Gustafsson & Stefan Anderberg

Abstract: Biogas solutions typically span across several sectors, such as waste handling, energy and transport. While this can be an advantage in comparison to other alternatives, it also creates an intricate policy structure that is challenging to overview, making it difficult to evaluate consequences of different policy changes that might not be directly related to biogas. This article presents an attempt to describe the institutional conditions for biogas solutions in the EU by defining the dimensions and characteristics of policies and policy instruments influencing biogas. A five-dimensional model of biogas policies is proposed: type of policy; administrative area; administrative level; targeted part of the value chain; and continuity and change over time. This reflects the complexity of the conditions for biogas solutions and constitutes a platform for describing, discussing and developing biogas policies. From the proposed model, it becomes clear that biogas policy is a very dispersed and incoherent policy area. Thus, there is an apparent risk that the responsibility for biogas policy is diffuse and has no obvious owner among the involved actors, making the framework of biogas policies patchy and ineffective. This model can contribute to an improved overview of biogas policies, and can be used as a tool for comparing the policy landscapes in different countries.

You can read the article here (in English):

  Gustafsson & Anderberg 2021. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 135: 110200

Thesis Project Opportunity!

Thesis Project within Biotechnology

We offer thesis project to student with an education in technical biology, chemical biology, chemical engineering or similar, and with laboratory experience. This project is industrially relevant with a potential real impact on the use of digestate after anaerobic digestion.

Lab-scale biogas reactors

Lab-scale biogas reactors at Tema Environmental Change (Photo: Eva-Maria Ekstrand)

Improved dewaterability of digestate from anaerobic digestion by the addition of pulp and paper mill primary sludge

Anaerobic digestion (AD) of biological waste for biogas production is an important process in today’s society, both in terms of waste reduction as well as the generation of a carbon neutral fuel. Reuse of the nutrient-rich residue (digestate) is essential and can have a significant effect on the economy of the process. The digestate often contains > 90 % water, and therefore dewatering can be an important step to lower the cost for transport to potential customers. This project aims to investigate if the addition of pulp and paper mill primary sludge to the AD process can improve the dewaterability of the sludge, and thereby increase its use and value on the market.

In short, the student will carry out a laboratory study using lab-scale biogas reactors primarily digesting food waste. Primary sludge (rich in fibres) from different types of pulp mills will then be added to the reactors, and the biogas production and dewaterability of the sludge will be assessed.

Supervision

The thesis project is supervised by researchers from LiU, and the project is part of a research area in the Biogas Research Center (BRC), a national competence center financed by the Swedish Energy Agency, LiU, the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU) and several industrial partners. The student will be invited to take part in and present their results in one of the center’s larger meetings, where several companies will be present. Desired starting date is September 2020, but this can be discussed.

We are looking for a student with an education in technical biology, chemical biology, chemical engineering or similar, and with laboratory experience. This project is industrially relevant with a potential real impact on the use of digestate after anaerobic digestion.

Contact

LiU/BRC: Eva-Maria Ekstrand, eva-maria.ekstrand@liu.se

(From https://liu.se/en/article/thesis-project-in-improved-dewatering-of-residual-rot-after-biogas-production)

BRC new publication!

Developing biogas systems in Norrköping, Sweden: An industrial symbiosis intervention

Axel Lindfors, Marcus Gustafsson, Stefan Anderberg, Mats Eklund, Murat Mirata

Abstract: Biogas systems are often multi-functional and involve several actors in different sectors, requiring these actors to collaborate closely in order to implement such systems. In this paper, a study is presented where the theory of institutional capacity building is used to guide interventions with public and private actors to facilitate the development of local biogas systems in Norrköping, Sweden. The interventions were performed in the form of a workshop series, where local actors with potential to influence biogas developments actively took part. The workshop series generated knowledge on Norrköping’s significant potential for both producing and using biogas, which was traced, in part, to its high concentration of bio-based industries and its good position as a hub for transports. The interventions also created a shared understanding that cooperation and coordination to distribute resources and knowledge about biogas, both geographically and across sectors, was critical for realizing this potential. The municipal organization was identified as an important actor for coordinating these efforts. Observations during the workshops and survey responses indicate that the interventions contributed to building institutional capacity and initiation of efforts to develop local biogas solutions. Ideas put forth in this study enable interventions to target the intangible internal capacities of emerging industrial symbiosis networks. In addition, institutional capacity building serves as a useful analytical framework capable of capturing progress within emerging networks in the short-term even when material, water or energy synergies are yet to be realized.

You can read the article here (in English):

  Lindfors et al. 2020. Journal of Cleaner Production 277: 122822

BRC new publication!

What opportunities could the COVID-19 outbreak offer for sustainability transitions research on electricity and mobility?

Wisdom Kanda, Paula Kivimaa

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major landscape shock that is having pervasive effects across socio-technical systems. Due to its recentness, sustainability scientists and other researchers have only started to investigate the implications of this crisis. The COVID-19 outbreak presents a unique opportunity to analyze in real time the effects of a protracted landscape-scale perturbation on the trajectories of sustainability transitions. In this perspective, we explore the ramifications for sustainability transition research on electricity and mobility, drawing from selected examples in Finland and Sweden. The long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to trigger more permanent changes connected to the digitalization of work and other daily activities, thus reducing mobility needs and overall fossil-energy consumption. The crisis may encourage governance systems to be better prepared for different types of shocks in the future, while it also contains a threat of increasingly populist or undemocratic political responses and increased securitization. These developments can guide research by addressing the reproduction of new practices arising from the COVID-19 outbreak to accelerate sustainability transitions, enhancing understanding of the role of governance in transitions, and bringing to attention the ethical and political implications of landscape shocks.

You can read the article here (in English):

   Kanda & Kivimaa 2020. Energy Research & Social Science 68: 101666

Welcome to the online BRC PhD-course Biogas solutions

 *NOW ONLINE!*

Welcome to the BRC PhD-course Biogas solutions – starting in October 2020

 After a very successful course in 2019 with PhD students from BRC as well as Swedish and international universities together with participants from partners and members we would like to once more give the opportunity to take the course. The course aims to give a abroad understanding of biogas solutions, from process technology and biochemical processes to systems perspective, societal effects and implementation (see course info below).

 The main target group for the course is PhD students but also partners and members within BRC who have the possibility to participate in the many lectures given within the course (now online!).

 Please spread the word within your biogas network!

Are you interested in joining the course?

Contact: Madeleine Larsson, madeleine.larsson@liu.se 013-28 27 19 

Here can you find information about the course

Here you can find a schedule for the open lectures