Chemrec inaugurates biofuel plant at Smurfit Kappa's mill in Piteå, Sweden

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Chemrec inaugurates biofuel plant at Smurfit Kappa's mill in Piteå, Sweden

September 08, 2010 - 21:03
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STOCKHOLM, Sept. 9, 2010 (Press Release) -On Thursday September 9 the world's first plant for production of the renewable motor fuel BioDME was inaugurated. "A major step forward for the global biofuels market", said Kyriakos Maniatis of the European Commission. The plant is built and operated by Chemrec, a Swedish-based technology company, at the company's development plant located at the Smurfit Kappa paper mill in Piteå, Sweden.

The potential is significant. In Sweden up to one half of all heavy road transportation could be run on BioDME and globally well over 30 million m3 diesel equivalents per year could be produced from the available black liquor feedstock, enough to fuel one million heavy trucks.

BioDME from forest residues over the Chemrec process reduces net greenhouse gas emissions with about 95% compared to use of petroleum-based diesel oil, the traditional fuel for heavy road transports. It also provides excellent engine performance and vehicle drivability.

A major step forward for the global biofuel market

Kyriakos Maniatis, Energy Technologies & Research Co-ordination at DG Energy of the European Commission said: "An important milestone was achieved today bringing BioDME closer to commercial deployment not only for the EU but for the global biofuel market. This is also a major step forward for the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan since a unique bioenergy value chain closely linking the Pulp and Paper industry and bioenergy has been fully deployed for the first time."

This pilot plant is part of the BioDME project where the production of BioDME and its use in heavy trucks is demonstrated. The syngas generation for the plant is based on Chemrecs black liquor gasification technology. The BioDME synthesis and upgrading technology is provided by Haldor Topsøe A/S. Other important components of the project are the distribution system and the vehicle test fleet.

An industrial scale plant soon a reality

"Since the ground-breaking ceremony for the BioDME plant a year ago we have made considerable progress. In addition to the building of the BioDME plant and getting the Volvo Truck test fleet into operation also the process towards building an industrial scale plant at the Domsjö specialty cellulose mill in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, has advanced", said Max Jönsson, Chemrec CEO. "For the Domsjö project main technology providers have now been selected and we are ready to start the Front-End Engineering and Design phase."

"The significant investment made in this pilot facility will not only demonstrate the production of BioDME but will also provide an opportunity to further develop our already well-proven methanol and DME production processes. This will open even more efficient routes to green fuels and chemicals", said Jens Perregaard, General Manager, Technology Division at Haldor Topsøe.