BioPAD team find a new fuel type for Northern Europe

BioPAD team has been involved in developing a new fuel type called Northern Energy Bamboo (NEB). With help of genetic manipulation, this Laos origin Bamboo can now growing in Northern Europe, including the most Northern regions of Finland, Sweden and Norway. Researcher Rubartus Princenhofner from Finnish Forest Research Institute visited in Laos on March 2014 to compare the growing results of Bamboo in Laos and plantations in Finland, Sweden, UK and Ireland. The results of NEB are promising as it grows five times faster than willow in Ireland. At the age of 17 years NEB is 17 meters tall and can reach the volume of 1,5 m3. Like other Bamboos it can grow really thick and it doesn’t need any harvesting. “Of course the growing is not that fast as the original plant in Laos but we are happy of the trial and new genetic manipulated plant” said Mikael Nivpandason from the Finnish Forest Research Institute. According to Dr. Larry Piglet the secret of success of NEB in Northern Europe has been that it can grows also during the night. The normal growing period in Nordic countries can be longer because of length of the day and availability of daylight comparing to Laos.

Blog April 1Pic 1. 1-year old NEB trial in Joensuu plantation area (1st of April 2014)

Combustion of Northern Energy Bamboo have been also promising. During the test, the ash content was lower and heat caloric value nearly same as normal wood. What makes NEB more interesting is the amount of gum inside the Bamboo. First laboratory test showed that it has nearly same structure and fuel properties as pyrolysis oil and could replace heating oil in bigger scale boilers. There is no research yet for it suitability for bio diesel in transportation.

The research findings have also been welcomed by the researchers’ BioPAD colleague Dr. Niels Jemas from ERI, who emphasised the fact that the special NEB roots sequestrate carbon.  “This makes the findings of the Finnish trial even more valuable” he said.

The biggest challenges in Finland plantation trial have been damages caused by pink Finnish forest hogs.

blog april 2

Pic.2 Pink Finnish forest hog eating pine

If you are interested in getting these new plants or would like more information please contact  Researcher Mikko Nivala, during 1st of April between 16:55-17.00



About biopadblog

Developing a local bioenergy market can provide significant opportunities for rural and remote areas, by improving security of energy supply, contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions and stimulating the local economy by creating jobs and keeping payments for energy within the local community. A new project, BioPAD (Bioenergy Proliferation and Deployment), which targets the Northern Periphery of Europe, aims to ensure that bioenergy becomes more widely used and that awareness of the opportunities it provides are increased. The project will help the development of bioenergy and improve our understanding of the links between supply and demand by looking at supply chains for a variety of bioenergy fuels and different ways of converting these fuels into sustainable energy. Understanding the supply chains and the ways bioenergy moves from fuel source to energy provision will help the establishment of robust and efficient supply services which can match local demand. BioPAD is led by the Western Development Commission (Ireland) and is funded under the ERDF Interreg IVB Northern Periphery Programme (NPP)
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