David A. Agar

David Agar
I'm a physicist and chemist interested in renewable energy technologies. I currently work with thermal treatments (e.g. torrefaction, pyrolysis) of lignocellulosic biomass and organic waste streams with an emphasis on product characterisation. Economic analysis and emission accounting are tools I use to study biofuel feasibilty and the implications for energy policy.


As a Steering Board member of the SLU Future Faculty and subject coordinator for the BECFOR graduate school, I work to promote 1) inter-disciplinary collaboration, education and research 2) transparency in faculty and departmental decision-making processes and 3) an international and multi-cultural academic environment.


Forestry and Sustainable Development , post-graduate level (4 ECTS)

This course ran for the first time in spring 2021 with 16 PhD students from six universities in Sweden and Finland. It critically examines Swedish (Nordic) 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.


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. Partners include Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Biofuel Region and the University of Vaasa.

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. The 12 Project partners from five European countries included VTT (Finland), RISE (Sweden) and CEA (France).


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.

Publikationer i urval

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, 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).

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