Membrane Technology Forum

Membrane Technology Forum

Birgir Norddahl
Associate Professor emer, University of Southern Denmark

Birgir Norddahl is a native of Iceland, graduating from Aarhus University, Denmark with a degree in both chemistry and nuclear physics. Birgir has more than 20 years’ experience in the polymer industry, biotechnology and membrane technology applications in various fields before re-entering university as an associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark specializing in membrane technology and biotechnology with regard to application of algae and plants as nutraceuticals and dietary supplements.


Membranes for Biomass Conversion to Fuels

Biomass is in play as raw material for a sustainable fuel production meeting demands for transportation and heating, when biomass is utilised in a sustainable way not disregarding the need for food. Residual material like agricultural non-food by-products and wood will suffice as raw material for i.e. bioethanol 2. generation, bio- diesel, and bio-butanol. The latter two also functioning as fuel for aircrafts, but they do not in the quantities presently available meet the demand. Biomass as raw material can be achieved in the form of algae. Micro-algae can obtain a biomass production much larger than the production of any other plant and even produce crude oil.

Technologies for harvesting micro algae and extracting crude fuels can be designed with membranes in various forms.

The presentation also show membrane bioreactors converting biomass to sugar and to biofuels like bio-ethanol, bio-diesel, hydrogen, and methane – the latter by using a novel technology – Bioelectrochemical conversion of CO2 to methane converting CO2 into a fuel by a fermentative operation including membranes