A blog from University of Borås

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Parliamentary Assembly - Union for Mediterranean (PA-UfM) and Waste Recovery

The Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary Assembly is active since 2004 with 47 countries from Europe, Middle East and North Africa, where parliamentarians share their knowledge and help each other on:
  • Political Affairs, Security, and Human Rights;
  • Economic and Financial Affairs, Social Affairs, and Education;
  • Improving Quality of Life, Exchanges between Civil Societies, and Culture;
  • Women's Rights in Euromed countries;
  • Energy, Environment, and Water.
In the last week, Swedish Parliament was the host for the meeting of "Energy, Environment, and Water" committee in Stockholm, where about 20-30 countries were participated. I and my colleague Hans Björk were invited to talk about Waste Recovery and our international partnership on improving waste management and resource recovery in the world. Considering the challenging waste manegement in many European countries, our intertion for this year and next year is to invest more time and efforts on sharing knowledge and technology on improving waste management in Europe and this meeting was a good opportunity to initiate this collaborations!
(The share of landfilling of municipal wastes in Europe in 2001- Data from Eurostat)
(A photo of the meeting PA-UfM in Stockholm 27 May 2013)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

United Nation conference in Borås on waste management

United Nation Center for Regional Development (UNCRD) was established in 1971 to promote sustainable regional development in developing countries. One of the aspects in this development is waste management, where sustainability is a great challenge in most of the developing countries and even many industrial counties. Therefore, IPLA (International Partnership for expanding waste management services of Local Authorities) has the mission to promote sustainability in waste management. 

Borås has been a pioneer in waste management and also promoting sustainable waste management in the world. Therefore, IPLA decided to have their next IPLA conference will be in Borås 9-11 September 2013. Let's hope this 911 (Nineeleven) conference will also promote peace and closing the cultures, where waste management is a global problem and need a global solution!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eurovision 2013 and waste recycling in Sweden

Eurovision Song Contest is the largest TV program in the world. This year, Sweden was the host, thanks to Loreen who van last year. The program had its 57th year, and 39 countries were participated. One of the interesting performances (in addition to the beautiful songs from all these countries) was by the host Petra Mede about different traditions, behaviours and culture in Sweden.

The interesting part of this performance was addition of the tradition of waste recycling in Sweden. In this country, the landfilling of the municipal wastes is less than 1%, while 33% of the whole MSW is recycled. Enjoy the whole performance here!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Biogas from lignocellulosic materials: A PhD thesis

Lignocelluloses are the most important energy and materials source for human being, as they save the solar energy in form of carbohydrates, lignin etc. for us. We have used it for thousands of years as energy source, as it is still used by burning. However, the modern societies nowadays need the energy also in form of biofuels, as we use in e.g. cars. Biogas is one of the major biofuels that is used globally for heating, cooking, lightening, electricity and car fuel.

Now, the question is if we can convert lignocelluloses to biogas. For this purpose, there are two principal technologies under development, where biogas is produced fro lignocelluloses via gasification and fischer-tropsch process, or via bacterial fermentation (digestion). However, the biomass is hard to digest because of lignin and hard crystallinity. As we know, it took about 50 million years that the nature found a way to degrade lignin by the fungi. So, it is a hard work to do...

Our PhD student Anna Teghammar has worked several years to do a pretreatment and ferment the lignocelluloses to biogas. She will defend her thesis next week, so we wish her good luck!

Her thesis is about "Biogas Production from Lignocelluloses: Pretreatment, Substrate Characterization, Co-digestion and Economic Evaluation".

The published papers so far are:
1- Pretreatment of paper tube residuals for improved biogas production.
2- Enhanced biogas production from rice straw, triticale straw and softwood spruce by NMMO pretreatment.
3- Substrate characteristic analysis for anaerobic digestion: A study on rice and triticale straw.
4- Improved Anaerobic Digestion by the Addition of Paper Tube Residuals: Pretreatment, Stabilizing, and Synergetic Effects.