Swedish firms to build world’s first lignin plant for biofuels

In Sweden, Preem and RenFuel are working to establish a plant at the Rottneros pulp mill in Vallvik, Söderhamn, to produce 25,000-30,000 tonnes/y (kt/y) of lignin on completion in 2021.

The collaboration between the companies means that Preem will be the first fuel manufacturer in Sweden to use lignin in its production. Through Lignolproduktion AB, which is jointly owned by Preem and RenFuel, the aim is to produce 300-500 kt/y of lignin, based on the assumption that more plants similar to that in Vallvik are established in the future.

Samples of lignin from the Rottneros pulp mill are already being delivered to Renfuel’s pilot facility which was established for the production of Lignol®. The Lignol oil is then taken to Preem’s refineries to be processed to make biofuels.

In 2017, about 9 Mm3 of fuel were sold in Sweden, of which about 1.9 Mm3 were classified as biofuel, according to the Swedish Petroleum and Biofuels Institute. About 15% of the biofuel was produced in Sweden, with the rest being imported.

Preem is Sweden’s largest fuel company with two refineries producing over 18 Mm3/y of unprocessed oil. It also owns a network of 570 fuel stations for private and commercial traffic.

RenFuel is a bioenergy company that has patented an energy-efficient catalytic process for converting lignin from forestry by-products into the renewable lignin oil Lignol®.

Rottneros produces market pulp. The Group comprises the parent company Rottneros AB and mill subsidiaries Rottneros Bruk AB and Vallviks Bruk AB, Rottneros Packaging AB, which manufactures fibre trays, and the wood procurement company Rottneros Baltic SIA in Latvia.

Rottneros AB, www.rottneros.com.

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