Friday, July 31, 2009

Chemrec's grant application for industrial-scale biofuels plant accepted by Swedish Energy Agency

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: Chemrec recently announced that the Swedish Energy Agency has selected for further consideration a grant application from Chemrec to build an industrial-scale plant to produce renewable automotive fuel from biomass through gasification of black liquor. The planned location will be at the Domsjo biorefinery complex in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

Since 2005 Chemrec has been operating a black liquor gasification pilot plant in Piteå in northern Sweden. This project is currently being expanded with a BioDME production facility.

The next step is to go from a pilot plant to an industrial scale plant. Should this grant application be successful it will provide US$64 million towards the total cost of US$350 million to make this a reality. It is estimated that the plant could be fully operational by late 2012.

“The energy feedstock for the fuel is logging residues, bark and industrial wood waste. The project will create substantial employment under the construction phase and permanently in forestry and plant operation.

“Fully implemented the technology can globally reduce fossil origin carbon dioxide emissions by over 90 million tons annually and replace about 30 million tons of fossil-origin diesel oil with renewable fuel. Planned production in this full-scale Chemrec plant is about 100,000 metric tons second-generation renewable automotive fuels BioDME and Biomethanol produced from gasified black liquor from pulp mills. It will reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions by about 250,000 metric tons per year.”

While the future of DME in Europe looks promising, a related story shows that there is more work to do in North America. Newpage Corporation, based in Miamisburg, Ohio, recently announced that they will discontinue work on a biofuels gasification plant slated for a pulp and paper mill in Michigan. They had partnered with Chemrec on the project.

The cost of the installation combined with the low current market prices for methanol and DME plus the lack of demand for methanol and DME as transportation fuels in North America were given as reasons for shelving the project.

No comments:

Post a Comment