Björn Zethræus


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Biomass for energy – A global perspective

Since the report "Our common future" was presented by the "Brundtland commission" in 1987 has sustainability been on the agenda in many countries of the world. A sustainable development must – according to the definition given in the report – guarantee that each and every generation is given the possibility to fulfil their (essential) needs without compromising the possibility for any following generation to fulfil their needs. The sustainable development must be based on three pillars, namely
1) Ecological sustainability
2) Social sustainability
3) Economical sustainability.

And then there is one more thing: Sustainable development must be based on a realistic view of world resources.

The global warming and it’s consequences as foreseen by the climate models reported by the IPCC violates the ecological sustainability by replacing known ecosystems by unknown and by shifting climate zones in a way that may render areas that are today densely populated un-inhabitable for humans.
It violates the social sustainability for the same cause, threatening to expose large populations to extended starvation or force them to abandon their traditional land.
It violates the economical sustainability by threatening to increase costs for climate-induced catastrophes and migration.

Most greenhouse gas emissions are directly connected to the use of energy for one purpose or the other and the energy systems all over the world need be adapted to the use of non-fossil resources. Biomass is already dominant among the renewable energy sources, followed by hydropower. This dominance is natural due to the flexibility of biomass when used for energy purposes:
It can be used as a solid fuel for pulverized fuel burners in glass-, ceramic- or steel industry
It can be liquefied (unless it is liquid already from the beginning) for use in cars and lorries
It can be gasified (unless, of course, it is already a gas) for...

Who am I?

My engagement in environmental issues dates back to school during the 1960's and became focused on the connection between energy and environment because of the oil-price-rises in the early 1970's. That was what made me go into energy-and-environment.
During the 1970's there was an intensive debate on energy issues in Sweden culminating in a referendum about nuclear power in the early -80's and I was engaged in the anti-nuclear movement at that time.
By the early -90's I was appointed "specialist" at the national energy lab in Studsvik, the section working on renewables (mainly gasification) and meanwhile I was also assistant professor in combustion technology at KTH in Stockholm.
By the mid -90's I was head-hunted to set up an educational programme and a research group at what was then "Högskolan i Växjö". This became the basis for the energy part of the present research group "Built environment and energy engineering" at Linnæus University consisting of some six professors, lecturers and PhD-students from 6-8(?) countries.
By now I'm retiring.
Over the years I’ve had and taken part in multiple research projects and I’ve had many courses in renewable energy, environmental engineering etc not only in the academic world but also tailor-made company-specific courses for energy companies, process industries, fuel- and equipment manufacturers etc.

What do I offer?

My offer includes designed courses as well as consultancy and advisory services.

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