Meet Michael Persson, new researcher at RISE

Meet Michael Persson, new researcher at RISE

Publicerat 25 January, 2024

Say hi to Michael Persson, one of our new colleagues at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden!

You are a researcher focusing on separation processes at the unit for Wood-based Materials and you will work with LignoCity in Bäckhammar. What will you do, more specifically?
– I will work with process-related issues in lignin production, mainly focussing on separation processes. It is about the parts of the process chain between receiving black liquor and extracting the raw material lignin, i.e. before converting lignin into some kind of finished product. My immediate focus will be on helping and driving the development of the plant in Bäckhammar. I will also contribute to research projects related to lignin production and its process concepts.

What did you do before joining RISE?
– I studied at Lund University, where I obtained both a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering with a specialisation in process design and a PhD in Chemical Engineering. My thesis focused on development and evaluation of different process concepts for biorefineries utilising mixed feedstock streams, mainly lignocellulose (wheat straw, birch) and starch-rich feedstock (wheat kernel) for biofuel production. After my PhD, I started working as a consultant at AFRY in the Process Industries division, mainly with assignments from the forest industry. Much of the work involved creating documentation for customers as a basis for investment decisions, such as feasibility studies, contact with equipment suppliers and calculation work. After AFRY, I started working as a development engineer at C-Green. They have a process for converting sewage sludge into a carbon product. There I worked on various development projects in both process development and product development.

How did you become interested in process technology?
– My interest in process technology started with a discussion about where I could learn more about beer brewing. Then it happened that my doctoral studies focused on producing spirits from cellulose. Once I got a broader perspective, I was introduced to the world of bioeconomy.

What do you find most exciting about working with bioeconomy?
– Working with bioeconomy allows me to be part of the movement that is transforming industry and society to a more sustainable model, which I find exciting.

Have you focused on lignin in the past?
– I have had the opportunity to work with lignin both as a researcher and in my role as a consultant, but it has usually not been my main focus, although it has been in the background. I am now looking forward to working on increasing the use of a hitherto underutilised resource.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
– In my free time, I like to take advantage of Stockholm’s cultural life and go to restaurants, concerts, events or exhibitions with friends and family. I also try to stay active with everything from floorball, martial arts, cross-country skiing and nature walks with mushroom picking.