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Ola Wallberg, PhD, is an associate Professor at the department of Chemical Engineering at Lund University. He started his research in the field of membrane processes when attempting to fractionate kraft black liquor and concentrate the lignin fraction. The overall aim was to reach a lignin concentration and lignin purity high enough for further use as a biofuel. The main achievement was the development of operating procedures for ultrafiltration of kraft black liquor at temperatures above the normal boiling point and in achieving fractionation between hemicelluloses and lignin in the liquor. The membrane filtration work was performed under the guidance of Professor Ann-Sofi Jönsson. After receiving his PhD in 2005 he continued as a researched in the lignin fractionation field working with membrane filtration and with the Lignoboost process in cooperation with Inventia. In 2007 he was brought over to the bioethanol field by Professor Guido Zacchi, first as a researcher connected to the Process Development Unit and later on as the main responsible for the techno-economical evaluations related to the ethanol research at the department. Since Professor Zacchis retirement Ola heads the ethanol research group together with associate Professor Mats Galbe. Much of the groups research is directed towards improving the ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass. The research is centred around the PDU unit, and specifically the pretretment of biomass which can be performed in either batch or continuous reactors is of main concern. Being able to effectively pretreat biomass either by steam explosion or other novel technologies is key obstacle for ethanol production and biorefinery research. In parallel with the biorefinery research Ola has ongoing research related to membrane filtration of kraft black liquor with the aim of producing a lignin fraction suitable as a feedstock for oil refineries for the production of a green gasoline. He is also the coordinator for Lund University in the Swedish knowledge centre for renewable transportation fuels (f3).

UKÄ subject classification

  • Chemical Process Engineering
  • Other Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • Pretreatment
  • ethanol
  • biorefinery
  • techno-economy
  • separation processes
  • membrane filtration


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