Waste Wood Pyrolysis Plant to Produce 50,000 tpa of Bio-oil in Finland

A new facility pyrolysis facility that will produce around 50,000 tonnes per year of bio-oil from waste wood in Joensuu, Finland has been commission by Finnish sustainable energy company, Fortum.

According to the company the facility is the first of its type in the world, and has been integrated into its Joensuu combined heat and power plant.

Fortum explained that the bio-oil is produced from forest residues, wood from first thinnings and other wood biomass, such as forest industry by-products, sourced locally from the Joensuu region.

The bio-oil facility will increase the company’s wood use in energy production in Joensuu from 300,000 to 450, 000 solid cubic meter per year and will have an annual production of 50,000 tonnes of bio-oil – corresponds to the heating needs of more than 10,000 households.

According to the company, Fortum Otso® bio-oil can be used at heat plants or in industrial steam production as a replacement for heavy and light fuel oil, and could in the future be used as a raw material for various biochemicals or transport fuels.

The facility is based on so-called fast pyrolysis technology, in which wood biomass is rapidly heated in oxygen-free conditions. As a result the biomass decomposes and forms gases that are then condensed into oil.

Fortum said that it has invested around €30 million in its bio-oil plant and in modification work to its heat plants, and the project has received some €8 million in government investment subsidies.

“The use of bio-oil has significant positive environmental impacts because energy produced with bio-oil reduces carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 90% or more compared to fossil fuels,” commented Markus Rauramo, Fortum CFO in his inaugural speech.

Development and conceptualisation of the new technology has been done collaboratively between Fortum, Metso, UPM and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The research has been part of TEKES – the Finnish Funding Agency for Tech-nology and Innovation’s Biorefine programme.

In October, Fortum signed its first agreement to supply the bio-oil produced in Joensuu to Savon Voima, which will use it to replace the use of heavy and light fuel oil in its district heat production in Iisalmi.

Additionally, the company said that it will use bio-oil in its own heat plants in Joensuu and in Vermo, Espoo.

Read More: Waste Wood Pyrolysis to Bio-oil Plant

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