I am driven by a strong interest to contribute to the development of a more sustainable society as well as a general curiosity. My academic career started with studies in chemistry at Linköping University followed by a master in biotechnology at Uppsala University.
My path as a researcher started with a dissertation (1996) at SLU in the field of biogas focusing on a unique group of organisms, the so-called syntrophic acetate oxidizing bacteria. Here I gained insight into the biogas process and all its benefits and possibilities and also knowledge of the difficult art of cultivating strict anaerobic organisms. The opportunity to combine applied and basic research attracted me to a research career and since 2012 I am Professor and collaboration specialist in bioenergy.
Today I lead a research group of approximately 10 people and work with researchers in Sweden and from international universities as well as with different actors outside the university, such as municipalities, breach organizations and farmers.
My overall research interest is environmental biotechnology and the possibility to use anaerobic microbial processes for converting organic residual streams into valuable products, such as energy carriers, chemicals or feed. To achieve this goal, my laboratory operates different types of anaerobic bioprocesses, with mixed organism consortia or pure organism cultures. Isolation and characterization of new organisms, both bacteria and archaea, is also in focus. Many studies aim at generating basic knowledge to understand connections between microbial ecology and process function, but part of the research also has a more applied character and is often performed in collaboration with the industry.
A strong research area is biogas production from different types of substrates. The research here aims to find solutions for optimized gas production with higher yield and improved process stability. Another research area is the digestate and various issues related to it´s use as fertilizers. Possibilities to link the biogas systems to other energy production systems (hydrogen, ethanol, etc.) or for production of other value products, such as organic acids, or feed, are also area of interest. The main part of my research in these areas is at SLU but also at Linköping University where I am part-time guest professor.
The microbial processes used for the production of different products in constructed bioreactors are also found in different natural environments. My knowledge in the field of anaerobic microbiology has therefore led to collaborative research in recent years dealing with, for example, methane emissions from cows and rice fields, linkage between human health and intestinal flora, deep biosphere methane and fiber turnover in dung bugs.
I am currently teaching on the following courses at undergraduate level:
- Energy systems from a biogeoscience perspective (SLU).(BI0987), 10 hp, SLU Uppsala
- Contaminated soils - Risk Assessment and Remediation (TE0011, BI1094), 5 and 20 credits, SLU, Uppsala
- On-site wastewater systems, nutrient recovery and sewage sludge treatment, (TN0320), 5 credits, SLU, Uppsala
- Molecular Biotechnology for Renewable Energy (1KB764, 15 ECTS Uppsala University).
- The biogas process (TRTE18, 6 ECTS, Linköping University)
I am also teaching continuing education on biogas for municipality, industry and farmers in the field of biogas.
I have a broad network within the biogas area both inside and outside Sweden and interact with different universities, industries and branch organizations.
I am also active lecturer at various courses and seminars and act as advisor on various issues related to biogas production.
- Liu T, Sun L, Nordberg Å, Schnürer A (2018). Substrate-induced response in biogas process performance and microbial community structure related back to inoculum source. MDPI Microorganisms. 6:80. DOI:10.33907microorganisms6030080.
- Westerholm M, Isaksson. S, Karlsson-Lindsjö O, Schnürer A (2018). Microbial community adaptability to altered temperature conditions determines the potential for process optimisation in biogas processes. Applied Energy 226: 838-848 Doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018-06-045.
- Manzoor S, Schnürer A, Bongcam-Rudloff E, Müller B. (2018). Genome-Guided Analysis of Clostridium ultunense and Comparative Genomics Reveal Different Strategies for Acetate Oxidation and Energy Conservation in Syntrophic Acetate-Oxidising Bacteria. Genes. 9:4 DOI:10.3390/genes9040225.
- Solli L, Schnürer A, Horn SJ (2018). Process performance and population dynamics of ammonium tolerant microorganisms during co-digestion of fish waste and manure. Renewable Energy 125:529-536. doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2018.02.123.
- Pawar M-A, Schnürer, A, Mellerowicz EJ, Rönnberg-Wästljung A. (2018) QTL mapping of wood FT-IR chemotypes shows promise for improving biofuel potential in short rotation coppice willow (Salix spp). BioEnergy Research. pp 1-13. doi.org/10.1007/s12155-018-9901-8.
- Alhlberg-Eliasson K, Liu T., Nadeau E, Schnürer A (2018). Forage types and origin of manure in co-digestion affect methane yield and microbial community structure. Grass and Forage Science. 1-18. doi.org/10.1111/gfs.12358.
- Schnürer A, Müller B, Westerholm M (2018). Genus Syntrophaceticus. Bergey´s Manual. DOI: 10.1002/9781118960608.gbm01452.
- Westerholm M. Müller B, Singh A, Karlsson-Lindsjö O, Schnürer A (2017). Detection of novel syntrophic acetate-oxidizing bacteria from biogas processes by continuous acetate enrichment approaches. Microbial Biotechnology. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.13035.
- Soroush S-A, Singh A, Hermansson M, Persson F, Schnürer A, Wilén B-M, Modin, O (2017). Effect of start-up strategies and electrode materials on carbon dioxide reduction on bio-cathodes. Applied Environmental Microbiology. Doi:10.1128/AEM.02242-17.
- Liu T, Sun L, Müller B, Schnürer A (2017). Importance of inoculum source and initial community structure for biogas production from agricultural substrates. Bioresource and Technology. 245:768-777. doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.08.213.