A practical introduction to the heterogeneity of forest biomaterials

Course content:


  • Introduction to material preparation and research infrastructures, analysis equipment at BTC:
    • Material preparation equipment and technologies
    • Overview of solid forest materials
    • Fast spectroscopic analysis methods for industrial environments Near-infrared (NIR), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and Pulsed Fast Thermal Neutron Activation (PFTNA). Sampling/preparation challenges connected to spectroscopic methods.
  • Understanding forest biomaterial heterogeneity
    • Seminar on one’s own research work and possible implications of forest biomaterial heterogeneity
    • Lecture on heterogeneity of forest biomaterials (species, seasonality, structural and chemical composition, contaminations.
  • Representative sampling and sample preparation
    • Lecture on sampling of heterogeneous solid forest materials; prerequisites for representative sampling and standardized sampling methods
    • Practical sampling exercise, learning standardized methods for representative sampling of biomaterials and sample preparation by comminution, drying, sample division, sample handling, etc., while maintaining representativity.
    • Lecture and demonstration
    • Practical preparation exercise:
  • Applying standardized methodology
    • Seminar and presenting a plan for material acquisition with maximized representativity – determination of required sampling, sample handling and preparation procedures to minimize sources of error

Learning objectives:

After course students will:

  • Be familiar with the infrastructural capabilities at BTC
  • Understand the inherent variability of forest biomaterials and forest industry residues
  • Understand the importance of and be able to perform representative sampling of forest biomaterials
  • Recognize the challenges in transferring laboratory research to industrial level due to forest biomaterial heterogeneity
  • Be able to operate single equipment and instruments with minor supervision
May 17-19, 2022




May 3, 2022





The course is intended for doctoral students in the Treesearch environment (where SLU is a part) from a variety of disciplines. This, with the intention of making the Biomass Technology Center (BTC), which is an infrastructure within Treesearch, available for their research. The course is also open to PhD and MSc students (forestry, technology, chemistry and / or biology) from other environments with similar interests. Good knowledge of English is important to be able to read material and contribute to discussions.

Course fee:

Course responsible:

Magnus Rudolfsson

The course consists of a combination of classroom lectures, small-group work, laboratorial lab work with discussions under supervision.

The total course time is estimated at 24 hours with 8 hours of lecture time, 16 hours of group tasks and laborative work and 16 hours of self-study involving literature review and preparing of a presentation of the students own doctorial tasks with materials and sampling as main focus.


If you have problems with the registration please contact education@treesearch.se