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Image for learning opportunity Advancing Sustainable Futures: Integrating Biogas Production into Society for a Greener Transition

Advancing Sustainable Futures: Integrating Biogas Production into Society for a Greener Transition

Advancing Sustainable Futures: Integrating Biogas Production into Society for a Greener Transition

Turn organic waste from a problem to a solution
Open for application

Our challenge

Organic waste can cause environmental problems, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and soil degradation. Anaerobic Digestion is a key technology that can convert organic waste into a valuable source of sustainable energy. However, it faces challenges of a combined technical and socioeconomic nature that hinders its efficiency and adoption. We are looking for learners with different academic and professional backgrounds to work together and solve the challenges connected to anaerobic digestion and turn organic waste an opportunity for a cleaner and brighter future!

Study format
Application period
28 June – 1 September 2024
Study period
9 September – 13 December 2024
Hosting university
Linkoping University
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Learning outcomes

Problem identification

Identify and account for defined problems within predefined, broad, and reality-based challenges for sustainable development.


Generate solutions

Employ interdisciplinary perspectives on production and system integration of biogas and biofertilizer to develop realistic solutions to sustainable development challenges.


Communication skills

Communicate, orally and in writing, solutions to to actors with diverse backgrounds and knowledge.


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This challenge examines how Anaerobic Digestion (AD) of organic waste can be used to produce biogas and biofertilizer in order to deal with issues related to energy, climate, agriculture and health. Principles for and applications of anaerobic digestion of organic waste will be covered, as well as opportunities and obstacles for the implementation of biogas technology in various contexts. This iteration of the module focuses on research related challenges of biogas production. The learners will have the opportunity to choose and work on one of four challenges provided by Linköping University researchers working on different aspects of the AD process:

Challenge 1: Antimicrobial Resistance and Anaerobic Digestion

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms to resist the effects of drugs that are meant to kill or inhibit them. It can lead to infections that are difficult or impossible to treat, and increase the risk of disease transmission and mortality. One of the main drivers of this is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in animal farming, as antibiotics pass from animal waste to the environment and affect the microbial communities. Although AD can be an effective method to reduce the environmental impact of animal waste, its impact on AMR is not well understood. In this challenge, learners will have to develop solutions on how an AD system can effectively reduce AMR in animal waste while producing biogas as a renewable energy source. The solutions can combine technical, legislative and policy aspects. 

Challenge 2: Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS)

During the production of high-quality biogas, CO2 molecules are released into the atmosphere. These emissions are biogenic and considered neutral. However, they can result in less atmospheric CO2 if they are captured at point-sources, and then are either permanently stored (Carbon Capture and Storage - CCS) or used in production (Carbon Captured Utilization). Currently there is a lack of policy and funding instruments globally to promote and facilitate CCS and CCU, that combined are referred to as CCUS. Learners working on this challenge will be tasked to come up with solutions that address the lack of policy and funding for CCUS.      

Challenge 3: Medium Chain Carboxylic Acids (MCCAs)

Medium Chain Carboxylic Acids (MCCAs) are valuable chemicals that can be used in various industrial applications, including biofuels, lubricants, and pharmaceuticals. Producing MCCAs from organic waste through AD systems presents a promising opportunity to create value-added products while addressing waste management issues. This challenge encourages learners to develop innovative methods for optimizing MCCA production from AD systems, contributing to the development of a circular bioeconomy and reducing environmental impact. 

Challenge 4: Nanotechnology and Anaerobic Digestion

One of the strategies for improving the biogas production process is the use of nanotechnology, though which anaerobic digestion can be stimulated and harmful substances mitigated. However, the presence of nanoparticles, depending on their chemical composition and concentration, can inhibit the AD process. In some cases can even represent a potential environmental threat if the product of AD is used as a biofertilizer. For what is more, the production and addition of nanoparticles can increase the cost of biogas production. In this challenge, learners will have to propose strategy solutions to make the addition of nanoparticles in the AD process cost effective, environmental friendly and safe for the soil. 

Each learner will work on only one challenge. Challenges will be allocated based on the learners preferences and the needs of the module.


The module will be given in blended mode, with most of the activities online and a mandatory face-to-face (F2F) week from 30 September to 4 October. Below you can see a preliminary programme. The exact dates for the online activities will be confirmed in August. The programme for the F2F week may be subject to changes: 

Week 37 (9-13 Sep.): Introduction

Session 1 (4h) (date and time TBA): 

  • Lecture: Introduction, explain module handbook, syllabus, structure & expectations (1hr)
  • Lecture: What is CBL, What is the aim of the module? (1hr)
  • Break-out Rooms by Challenge/Teams: Introductions, icebreakers (45 min)
  • Re-group, introduce teams to the whole module

Week 38 (16-20 Sep.):

  • Group work & self-studying: Becoming familiar with the challenge subject matter. Read, watch and listen to as much as you can, get readings from challenge provider if possible
  • Mandatory: 1 hour meeting per group with challenge provider
  • 1 hour pre-recorded lectures on the subject matter from challenge provider will be made available

Week 39 (23-27 Sep.)

  • Group work: Problem identification and defining possible solutions.
  • 1 hr pre-recorded lecture: Problem Delineation. How to go from a big challenge to a defined problem.

Week 40 (30 Sep-4 Oct): Face-to-face week

29 September

Arrive to Linköping, check into hotel. 

30 September

08.30-09.00: Check-in 

09.00-10.00: Welcome, intro to week, schedule & logistics 

10.00-11.00: Meet & Mingle & Fika 

11.00-12.00: Lecture/Seminar 

12.00-13.00: Lunch (on own) 

13.00-17.00: Group Session 1/Idea Jam & 1 min “take pitches” 

01 October

09.00-09.30: Review Lab procedures, protocols & best practices 

09.30-10.00: Fika 

10.00-12.00: Lab tour – how we study biogas in our lab 

12.00-13.00: Lunch (on own) 

13.00-14.00: Lecture/Seminar: How to Pitch 

14.00-17.00: Group Session 2 

18.00: BBQ and Mingle with ECIU Student Ambassadors 

02 October

09.00-12.00: Site visit to Tekniska Verken (transportation is not provided by LiU) 

12.00-13.00: Lunch (on own) 

13.00-17.00: Group Session - supervised lab time for groups - meet teamchers/challenge providers  

03 October

10.00-12.00: Seminar/lecture from industry actor 

12.00-13.00: Lunch (on own) 

13.00-17.00: Group work 

13.00-17.00: Pitch training and feedback

04 October

09.00-09.30: Final remarks, reminders and logistics 

09.30-12.00: First Pitch Presentations  

Week 41 (7-11 Oct)

  • Peer feedback on pitches

Week 42 (14-18 Oct)

  • Group work – peer feedback, refining the problem and solution, contact with and feedback from the Challenge Provider!

Week 43-47 (21 Oct - 22 Nov)

  • Lecture – Business and Marketing/Feasibility (date and time TBA)
  • Lecture – Government/Policy and how they work (date and time TBA)
  • Group Work: Determining feasibility of solution. Review the economic and political feasibility of your proposed solution.
  • “Shitty pitch” (date and time TBA)
  • Peer and Challenge Provider feedback on feasibility and shitty pitch

Week 48-49 (25 Nov - 6 Dec)

  • Group work: revision based on feedback

Week 50 (9-13 Dec)

  • Final pitches (date and time TBA)

Hosting university

Linkoping University

Linkoping University