Unique bio-oil plant commissioned in Finland

Fortum’s new plant uses pyrolysis technology to produce bio-oil from wood biomass.

Finnish energy company Fortum has started production at its new bio-oil plant in Joensuu, eastern Finland. The plant uses so-called fast pyrolysis technology in which wood biomass from forest residues, wood from first thinning sans forest industry by-products is rapidly heated in oxygen-free conditions. According to Fortum, the plant is the first of its kind in the world on an industrial scale and has been integrated with the company’s combined heat and power plant in Joensuu.

The bio-oil can be used at heat plants or in industrial steam production as a replacement for heavy and light fuel oil. In the future, bio-oil can be used as a raw material for various biochemicals or traffic fuels. The Joensuu bio-oil plant’s annual production of 50,000 tonnes corresponds to the heating needs of more than 10,000 households.

BioGTS’s biorefinery plant

The Finnish company BioGTS is building a biorefinery plant in Laukaa, central Finland. The main product of the new biorefinery plant will be biodiesel. The plant will process about 1,000 tons of greasy or oily organic waste from industry and restaurants into about 850,000 litres of biodiesel per year, which can be used as vehicle fuel and biobased heating oil.

The biorefinery plant will also include a biogas and a bioethanol plant. The produced biogas will be used mainly for heat and electricity production to cover the internal energy demand of the biorefinery plant itself, and the bioethanol will be used as catalyst in biodiesel production. The plant is expected to be operational in spring 2014.

Sources: Fortum, BioGTS