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Residues increase resource efficiency and profitability

“Bioenergy and co-production of transportation fuels and chemicals” is a broad programme area in the upcoming research programme that consists of two main areas. Marie Anheden explains more.

What will you be researching into? 

One of the main areas focuses on incineration plants that are a feature of today’s pulp mills and how they can be made more efficient. The other looks at production of transportation fuel and chemicals based on the by-products and residual products of the forestry industry. 
One objective is to be able to exploit tricky fuels and residual products with minimal process problems and emissions from incineration. Another objective is to develop process technology for production of transportation fuels and chemicals. 

What are the challenges?

One challenge is to be able to handle difficult fuels at incineration plants and reduce emissions. Fuels such as bio-sludge and bark have a high moisture content and contain inorganic material that causes problems in the incineration process. 

According to Marie Anheden, the challenges for producing fuels and chemicals include developing the processes so that they are as efficient as possible, ensuring the products are sufficiently pure and integrating the processes with the pulp mill so that excess heat, residual products, etc. can be utilised. The hope is that increasing profitability and launching green products on the energy and chemicals markets can benefit the industry and society.

How can the challenges be solved?

The incineration processes available today are vital components in the processes employed at pulp mills. If they don’t run smoothly, then a functional pulp process is impossible, according to Marie. But by efficiently exploiting residual products such as bark and bio-sludge in the incineration processes, it is possible to increase the resource efficiency of pulp mills, and thus their profitability.  

"For the various parts of the programme we have identified a number of interesting technical concepts within RISE that we want to verify and demonstrate on a laboratory and pilot scale. What happens in the lab will help us to progress to the next stage,” comments Marie.

Marie Anheden  is responsible for the area "Bioenergy and co-production of transportation fuels and chemicals" in the research program 2018-2020.