David A. Agar

David Agar
Renewable materials and energy technologies: I work with thermal treatments (e.g. torrefaction, pyrolysis) of biomass and organic waste streams. Economic analysis and emission accounting (life cycle assessment) are tools I use to study biofuel feasibility and the implications for energy policy.


  • Head of Biomass Technology and Chemistry division (BTK)
  • Bio4Energy participant (P1) & Treesearch associated member
  • SBT representative for gender equality & equal opportunities
  • Vice-Chairperson of SLU Future Faculty 
  • Wood Biomaterial Science subject coordinator for undergraduate education


Forestry and Sustainable Development (PFG0072) PhD course (4 ECTS)

A NOVA Network course that critically examines Swedish forests through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with a focus on energy and climate. The main purpose is to explore the potential of forest resources and forest-based industries in achieving national and EU energy policy objectives within the sphere of emission mitigation in society.

Skogens biomaterial (SV0010) undergraduate course (7.5 ECTS)

A new course aiming to strengthen the understanding of wood and forest-based raw material properties and their use in the bioeconomy. Topics focus on commercially relevant wood products and processes common to Sweden but with an international perspective.


Cross-Bothnia Energy Research

A Finnish-Swedish project between the Laboratory of Energy Technology in Vaasa, Finland, and the Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology at SLU in Umeå. The project develops and initiates research methodologies, joint funding applications and research education in the field of sustainable energy and environmental technology.

Sulfur-Free Marine Lignin Fuels

The project investigates the production of a renewable marine fuel from lignin using the organosolv pretreatment process, the combustion testing of the fuel and its life cycle assessement of production from forest-based by-products.

Multi-blade size reduction of wood for industrial processes and its influence on the forest-to-industry supply chain

The project investigates a novel size-reduction technology for producing fine powders from fresh tree stems in a single-step operation, bypassing conventional chipping, drying and pulverization methods. It has relevance for downstream industrial processes utilizing wood powders.

Aromatics from Lignin

The project develops relevant processes for the conversion of sawdust lignin to aromatic mixtures, precursors of high-value fuel additives for transport fuels (gasoline and kerosene). Studied methods include lignin isolation via the organosolv process and fast pyrolysis. Innovative new catalysts play a role in the study. Project partners: Luleå University of Technology and RISE ETC.

Gender Interactions in Research Leadership and Supervision (GIRLS)

This pedagogical study aims to improve the effectiveness of doctoral experiences by examining the interaction of wellbeing and gender in the context of research supervision. The perspectives in focus are doctoral candidate supervisors and it is based on survey data from Nordic universities (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

Utilization of Organic Sludge in Metal Industry - OSMet S2

The OSMet S2 Project aims to utilize various pulp & paper mill sludge in metallurgical applications with the goal of reducing fossil fuel dependence and associated emissions. Project partners include Swerea MEFOS AB, SSAB Merox AB, SP Processum, Volvo GTO, Outokumpu Stainless AB, The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Stora Enso.

Valorization of Organic Fines and Sewage Sludge Using Pyrolysis (OF-PYR)

The project investigates the feasibility of pyrolysis conversion for bio-based industrial feedstock to syngas and biochar production in Ireland. Partners: University of Limerick, The Irish Environmental Protection Agency, Irish Water Ltd. and the Irish Research Centre for Resource Efficiency.

Substance Flow and Transformation in Biorefinery Processes

This project investigates flows and transformation of potentially undesirable substances, heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants for example, in relevant biochemical and thermochemical processes. 

BioHub (www)

The BioHub Project aims to serve the emerging biorefining industry in Sweden and Finland and to facilitate the transition to bioeconomy in the Botnia-Atlantica area. Methods and business models for forest terminals will be developed to increase the value of the forest-based resources. 

Mobile Flip (www)

The Mobile Flip Horizon 2020 Project aimed at developing and demonstrating mobile processes for the treatment of forest and agricultural based biomass resources into products and intermediates. Key technologies included pelleting, torrefaction, slow pyrolysis and carbonization. 


LCA with SimaPro training certificate (2022), Miljögiraff, Sweden

Associate Professor, Docent (2021), Faculty of Forest Sciences, SLU, Sweden

Docent pedagogical training (2020), Educational Development Unit, SLU, Sweden

PhD, Inorganic Chemistry (2016), Åbo Akademi, Finland. Supervisors: Mikko Hupa, Margareta Björklund-Sänkiaho (ex. Wihersaari) and Nikolai Demartini

MSc, Applied Physics (2004), University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Supervisor: Jukka Pekola

Master Class in Theoretical Physics (2002), Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA), Denmark


03/2024, PhD co-supervisor, Calle Niemi, Biochemical and spectral characterisation of micro and macroalgae. Forest Biomaterials and Technology, SLU.

06/2023, PhD main supervisor, Atanu Kumar Das, Multi-blade size reduction of wood for industrial processes and its influence on the forest-to-industry supply chain. Forest Biomaterials and Technology, SLU.

11/2023, Examination committee member, Pierre Oesterle, Exploring the fate of emerging contaminants during hydrothermal regeneration of carbonaceous adsorbents. Department of Chemistry, Umeå University.

09/2023, Examination committee member, Norafiqah Ismail, Sustainable membrane fabrication using greener solvents. Department of Chemistry, Umeå University.

10/2022, Licentiate pre-examiner, Workson Siwale, Understanding the influence of wood extractives on off-gassing during storage of wood pellets. Karlstad University.

09/2021, PhD pre-examiner, Jarno Föhr, Raw material supply and its influence on profitability and life-cycle assessment of torrefied pellet production in Finland – Experiences from pilot-scale production. Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Publikationer i urval

Agar D, Hansen P, Rudolfsson M, Blagojevic B. Combining behavioural TOPSIS and six multi-criteria weighting methods to rank biomass fuel pellets for energy use in Sweden. Energy Reports 10; 706-718 (2023).

Kons K, Athanassiadis D, Agar D. Forecasting future procurement potential of Swedish forest biomass using forest inventory data, Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering 44; 327-336 (2023).

Islam N, Das AK, Billah M, Rahman KS, Hiziroglu S, Hattori N, Agar D, Rudolfsson M. Multifaceted Laser Applications for Wood – A Review from Properties Analysis to Advanced Products Manufacturing. Lasers Manuf. Mater. Process (2023)

Agar D, Athanassiadis D, Pavelka B. The CO2 cutting cost of biogas from humanure and livestock manure. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments 53PA; 102381 (2022). 

Das AK, Agar D, Thyrel M, Rudolfsson M. Wood powder characteristics of green milling with the multi-blade shaft mill. Powder Technology 407; 117664 (2022).

Kwapinska M, Horvat A, Agar D, Leahy JJ. Energy recovery through co-pyrolysis of wastewater sludge and forest residues - The transition from laboratory to pilot scale. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 158; 105283 (2021).

Agar D, Rudolfsson M, Lavergne S, Melkior T, Perez D, Dupont C, Campargue M, Kalén G, Larsson SH. Pelleting torrefied biomass at pilot-scale – Quality and implications for co-firing. Renewable Energy 178; 766-774 (2021). 

Agar D. Spear study misses the point: a critique of the Ennos & Chan fire-hardening study, concerning wood material representation in archaeological finds and generalized conclusions. Biology Letters 17: 20200832 (2021).

Das AK, Agar D, Rudolfsson M, Larsson SH. A review on wood powders in 3D printing: processes, properties and potential applications. Journal of Materials Research and Technology 15; 241-255 (2021).

Das AK, Agar D, Larsson SH, Rudolfsson M. Investigating the influence of work piece geometry on the specific energy use in size reduction with a multi-blade shaft mill. Biosystems Engineering 209; 210-215 (2021). 

Das AK, Agar D, Larsson SH, Holdo T, Fernando D, Rudolfsson M. Multi-blade milling from log to powder in one step - experimental design and results. Powder Technology 378; 593-601 (2021).

Islam MD, Adib A, Dana NH, Das AK, Faruk MO, Siddique MRH, Agar D, Larsson SH, Rudolfsson M, Ashaduzzaman M, Shams MI. Raw natural rubber latex-based bio-adhesive for the production of particleboard: formulation and optimization of process parameters. RSC Advances 11; 28542–28549 (2021).  

Larsson SH, Agar D, Rudolfsson M, da Silva Perez D, Campargue M, Kalén G, Thyrel M. Using macromolecular composition to predict process settings that provide high pellet durability in ring-die biomass pellet production. Fuel 283 (2021).

Agar D , Svanberg M, Lind I, Athanassiadis D. Surplus forest biomass - the cost of utilization through optimized logistics and fuel upgrading in northern Sweden . Journal of Cleaner Production 275; 123151 (2020).

Rudolfsson M, Agar D , Lestander TA, Larsson SH. Energy savings through late-steam injection - a new technique for improving wood pellet production. Journal of Cleaner Production 254 (2020).

Kwapinska M, Agar D, Bonsall B, Leahy JJ. Valorisation of Composted Organic Fines and Sewage Sludge Using Pyrolysis (OF-PYR). Enivronmental Protection Agency, Dublin. ISBN: 978-1-84095-935-2 (2020). 

Agar D , Rudolfsson M, Kalén G, Campargue M, Da Silva Perez D, Larsson SH. A systematic study of ring-die pellet production of forest and agricultural biomass. Fuel Processing Technology 180; 45-55 (2018).

Agar D, Kwapinska M, Leahy JJ. Pyrolysis of Wastewater Sludge and Composted Organic Fines from Municipal Solid Waste: Laboratory Reactor Characterization and Product Distribution. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 25; 35874 (2018).

Agar D, A comparative economic analysis of torrefied pellet production based on state-of-the-art pellets. Biomass and Bioenergy 97; 155-161 (2017).

Agar D, DeMartini N, Hupa M. Influence of Elevated Pressure on the Torrefaction of Wood. Energy and Fuels 30 (3), pp. 2127-2136 (2016).

Alakoski E, Jämsén M, Agar D , Tampio E, Wihersaari M. From wood pellets to wood chips - risks of degradation and emissions from the storage of woody biomass - a short review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 54; 376-383 (2016).

Agar D , Gil J, Sanchez D, Echeverria I, Wihersaari M. Torrefied versus conventional pellet production - A comparative study on energy and emission balance based on pilot plant data and EU sustainability criteria. Applied Energy 138; 621-630 (2015).

Jämsén M, Agar D, Alakoski E, Tampio E, Wihersaari M. Measurement methodology for greenhouse gas emissions from storage of forest chips - A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 52; 1617-1623 (2015).



Universitetslektor vid Institutionen för skogens biomaterial och teknologi (SBT); BTK
Telefon: +46907868772
Skogsmarksgränd 17
901 83 Umeå
Besöksadress: Skogsmarksgränd 17, Umeå