Fortum, UPM and Valmet have joined forces to develop technology to produce advanced high value lignocellulosic fuels, such as transportation fuels or higher-value bio liquids. The idea is to develop catalytic pyrolysis technology for upgrading bio-oil and commercialize the solution.
The partners say pyrolysis technology is seen as the most competitive route to produce advanced lignocellulosic biofuels, and is one of the most efficient routes for meeting EU2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
The five-year project is called LignoCat (lignocellulosic fuels by catalytic pyrolysis). The project is a natural continuation of the consortium's earlier bio-oil project together with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, commercializing integrated pyrolysis technology for production of sustainable bio-oil for replacement of heating oil in industrial use.
In the LignoCat project, the consortium aims higher and the target is to develop novel integrated technology to produce high value biofuels to replace fossil transportation fuels.
“We will develop pyrolysis technology enabling improvement of bio-oil quality compatible for further refining to transportation fuels or intermediate products. This is a business opportunity for us, which will lead to new sustainable processes and products. We see a great potential in this project and look forward to continued cooperation," says Jussi Mäntyniemi, director, technology and R&D, Valmet.
UPM's knowledge of biofuels plays a key role in the project. “Our aim is to become a significant advanced biofuel producer. In accordance with our strategy, we will start production in Lappeenranta with crude tall oil residue as a raw material, and simultaneously we are looking for ways of producing biofuels out of solid wood biomass. Catalytic pyrolysis is one of the promising options we are looking into," says Petri Kukkonen, vice-president, UPM Biofuels.
The LignoCat project is funded by Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. The project will create a knowledge cluster within biorefining for universities, research centres and consortium partners.
Fortum generates, distributes and sells electricity and heat to the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia and Poland.
UPM operates in six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and Plywood.
Valmet Corporation is a global developer and supplier of services and technologies for the pulp, paper and energy industries.