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Successful Andritz start up at Södra – world’s first fossil-free biomethanol plant

Austria-headed international technology group Andritz has announced that it has recently started up the world’s first biomethanol plant using its self-developed A-Recovery+ concept at the Södra Cell Mönsterås pulp mill in southeastern Sweden. The plant has an annual production capacity of 6.3 million liters of biomethanol which is recovered from the pulping process.

Swedish forest owners association Södra has completed the world’s first plant for commercial biomethanol, a sustainable fuel from forest biomass, at its pulp mill in Mönsterås, southeast Sweden. Andritz supplied the proprietary “A-Recovery+” process technology as an EPC delivery (photo courtesy Södra).

In February 2020, Swedish forest industry major Södra announced that it had commenced the start-up of the biomethanol recovery process at its Mönsterås pulp mill using Andritz’s proprietary technology. The Andritz delivery to Södra included proprietary process design and full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) delivery, excluding automation, instrumentation, electrification, and civil works.

With this first-ever fossil-free biomethanol plant worldwide, Andritz is strongly supporting Södra’s ambitions to make its operations entirely fossil-free and be climate-positive by the end of this decade. To achieve this aim, Södra is aiming at eliminating fossil fuel use throughout its operations and producing innovative products that replace fossil-based raw materials.

The A-Recovery+ concept delivers commercial-grade biomethanol by using a patented extraction process. It offers next-generation solutions for the chemical recovery cycle of pulp mills, with the target of utilizing the pulp mill side streams to the maximum extent possible.

The fossil-free biomethanol can be used for applications in the pulp mill itself, or as a substitute for fossil-based methanol in the transportation sector, directly as a fuel or in the production of biodiesel, as well as a platform chemical in the chemicals industry.

In addition to biomethanol production, A-Recovery+ also produces sulphuric acid from odorous gases and recovers lignin for the production of high-quality lignin to be used in advanced bioproducts.

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