Bio-oil production from biomass: Steps toward demonstration

Y. Solantausta, A. Oasmaa, K. Sipilä, C. Lindfors, J. Lehto, J. Autio, P. Jokela, J. Alin, J. Heiskanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Metso, UPM, Fortum, and VTT have developed the worlds first integrated bio-oil production concept to provide an alternative to fossil fuels. The consortium has constructed an up to 7 tons/day bio-oil production pilot unit, which uses a bubbling fluidized-bed (BFB) pyrolysis reactor integrated with a conventional fluidized-bed boiler. Proof-of-concept has been carried out; close to 90 tons of bio-oil has been produced from sawdust and forest residues at high availability. Around 40 tons of bio-oil has been combusted in Fortums 1.5 MW district heating plant in Masala, Finland, with high efficiency. Flue gas emissions were close to those of heavy fuel oil, at 4% O 2, CO emissions ranged from 0 to 10 ppm and NO x emissions ranged from 300 to 400 ppm. Organic compounds were under 5 mg m -3 N -1, and particulate emissions were in the range of 150-200 mg m -3 N -1. No odor emissions occurred. Development of the concept has been supported by experimental work on fast pyrolysis at VTT. This paper presents the recent results from the piloting project covering the whole chain from feedstock processing to bio-oil combustion, including the quality control system with online gas and liquid analyzers. The research supporting the pilot project, from various laboratory-scale units to systematic analytical development, is discussed, and the potential for market introduction of the new technology in forest product industries in western Europe and North America is described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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