RenFuel to build Lignol pilot at Nordic Paper pulp mill
Swedish bioenergy innovation start-up RenFuel and speciality paper producer Nordic Paper have signed an agreement to build a pilot plant at its Bäckhammar pulp mill in Sweden for the test production of advanced biofuels based on lignin. The project has been awarded a SEK 71 million (≈EUR 7.8 million) grant from the Swedish Energy Agency.
RenFuel has developed and patented an energy effective catalytic process to extract lignin from black liquor, a residue from the pulp industry, and refine it into lignin oil, Lignol. This biochemical intermediary can be used as raw material in the production of renewable gasoline and diesel. Furthermore the black liquor recovery enables production capacity increase for the pulp mill.
–Our product Lignol is key to achieving the Swedish goal of a fossil-free vehicle fleet by 2030. It is very gratifying to finally be able to test the product on a large scale thanks to the cooperation with Nordic Paper and funding from the Energy Agency, said Sven Löchen, President of RenFuel.
The pilot plant is expected to be operational in early 2017 and, assuming it is successful, it is anticipated that large-scale production will be implemented to meet the growing demand for advanced biofuels.
–The pulp and paper industry is an important link in the bio-economy. Through such cooperation, we can concretely contribute to the growing fossil-free future. It feels extremely positive, commented Per Bjurbom, CEO of Nordic Paper.
Another important link in the chain is that there are refineries that are able to produce diesel and gasoline from Lignol. Preem has since 2010 gradually switched its production to renewable fuels by replacing fossil oil with renewable raw materials such as tall oil.
–Preem welcomes RenFuel and Nordic Paper’s initiative. A major challenge in Sweden’s transition towards a fossil-free is the availability of sustainable raw materials. Residuals such as lignin from the Swedish forest industry more than meet our requirements for commodity sustainability and volume. We look forward to receiving and processing the first volume of Lignol in our refineries to produce renewable gasoline and diesel, said Petter Holland, CEO of Preem.