The fifth version of the Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC, was held in Sweden between March 25 and 27. Over 240 delegates from 26 countries attended the Conference, which is the most important event in the world related to this field.

Alex Berg, Executive Director of the Technological Development Unit, UDT, of the University of Concepcion was invited to participate in this event, in which he presented two works that are being carried out at the research center.

Berg explained that thematic emphasis in this version of the NWBC has changed regarding the previous event held in 2012. “The focus on bioenergy issues shifted to higher value-added products; especially biomaterials and chemical products from forest biomass. The chemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass are areas of main importance and attention”, he said.

As for the work he presented, one relates to the selective separation of lignified biomass components. On the other hand, the second was presented in the course called Designing Forest Biorefinery, associated with the conference.

Alex Berg said that in both opportunities he discussed the scaling of biomass conversion processes being executed at UDT. In this regard, he emphasized the interest that his presentation caused by showing concrete examples of technologies in scaling process, such as the extraction of pine bark polyphenols for the production of adhesive resins, and obtaining cellulose fibers, lignin and simple carbohydrates from cane wheat.

Open global markets

Companies and investigators discuss the new developments in the field of biorefineries at this event and thanks to this invitation “paths have been opened to interact not only with Chilean companies, but also with important forest-industrial consortia from other regions”.

Finally, the Executive Director of UDT concluded that global markets are not restricted to large companies that export products, “but also to specialized technological institutions such as UDT, which has the potential to develop and continue offering its differentiated services”.