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Carbon Capture

Metsä Group and ANDRITZ investigate capturing wood-based carbon dioxide

Metsä Group and ANDRITZ investigate capturing wood-based carbon dioxide
Metsä Fibre Kemi Bioproduct Mill in Kemi, Finland (photo courtesy Kimmo Syväri / Koski Syväri).

In Finland, forest industry major Metsä Group and the Austria-headed international technology company Andritz AG (ANDRITZ) have announced that the duo will investigate the possibility of building a carbon capture facility in connection with a bioproduct mill. The work will focus on the capture of four million tonnes of carbon dioxide from a mill the size of Metsä's Kemi bioproduct mill.

According to Metsä Group, its Kemi bioproduct mill is currently the largest wood-processing mill in the northern hemisphere.

The study will determine the optimal size of a recovery system that would be the most energy-efficient combined with the bioproduct mill, as well as the cooling and logistical requirements of the system.

The goal is to use the electricity, heat, and steam generated in the bioproduct mill as efficiently as possible so that no waste heat is generated.

This work follows on from the carbon capture study launched in 2023. Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture using an amine solution is an existing proven technology that has been used for decades around the world.

However, combining this technology with a pulp or bioproduct mill is progressive.

After the investigation with ANDRITZ, the project will proceed to the pilot phase in Metsä Group’s mill area in Rauma in 2025.

Wood-based CO2 to replace fossil raw materials

If carbon capture proves viable, a new high-volume wood-based raw material will emerge for the forest industry.

Our goal at Metsä Group is to process northern wood into increasingly valuable products. If implemented, carbon dioxide capture would open up opportunities for a significant new chemical industry in Finland and boost the Finnish hydrogen economy, said Sari Pajari-Sederholm, EVP Strategy at Metsä Group.

Metsä Group generates about 12 million tonnes of wood-based CO2 annually, which could be used as a raw material for fossil substitutes as the related technology and markets develop.

For example, renewable hydrogen and wood-based CO2 could be used to produce synthetic methane and methanol which in turn could be used as raw materials in the chemical industry.

The investigation by ANDRITZ and Metsä Group is pioneering work in carbon dioxide capture and the first step towards the production of renewable fuels from wood-based carbon dioxide. Efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are increasing the demand for renewable fuels, which can be met by the side streams from bioproduct mills, said Klaus Bärnthaler, VP of Sales and Business Development, Carbon Capture at ANDRITZ.

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