Finnish BioRefine - new biomass products programme: RD&D on biofuels and biorefineries in Finland

Erja Ämmälahti, Tuula Mäkinen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsProfessional


    The BioRefine - New Biomass Products Programme of Tekes, Finnish Funding Agency for Tech-nology and Innovation, for 2007-2012 has aimed to generate new and unique expertise in pro-cessing of biomass and to apply it to the creation of processes, products and services related to biorefineries. A further objective has been to promote the development and use of second-generation production technologies in biofuels for transport. A broad Finnish effort to develop new biorefining competencies and technologies has been co-ordinated under the umbrella of the BioRefine programme. The BioRefine programme together with the FuBio programmes of Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC Ltd (former Forestcluster Ltd) and the special pilot and demo funding of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has formed an extensive network of national and international collaboration. This entity has harnessed an exten-sive network of national research institutes, universities and enterprises. The total volume of the projects funded by Tekes in the BioRefine programme has already reached 285 million. The projects of the programme cover a spectrum of products - biofuels, chemicals, materials - utilising biomass in a variety of forms. One of the main focus areas has been forest-based biorefineries. In addition to forest-based raw materials also opportunities of agro biomass, waste fractions and new biomass sources, like algae and microbes, have been worked with. The research, development and demonstration of production technologies of biofuels has had a large role, e.g. technologies for producing biofuels for transport via the synthesis-gas route and the fermentation route and new liquid biofuel concepts based on integrating a fluidized-bed boiler and fast pyrolysis have been developed and demonstrated. Also the use of biofuels has been demonstrated, e.g. in the field tests with a bus fleet in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. Also opportunities of algae production and utilization in biofuel and bioenergy production have been studied. Green-house gas and other environmental impacts of production and use of biofuels have been assessed. Several novel routes to produce materials and chemicals from biomass have been developed. Projects of the programme have focused e.g. on new fractionation methods of biomass, cost-effective methods to produce sugars from biomass, production of biopolymer foams, and methods to modify lignin into materials applicable for composites, coating adhesives and barriers. The pro-gramme has also been a platform for small and medium-sized companies to carry out development projects together with research institutes and universities. The programme has facilitated innovations on the bioeconomy, and hence it has intensively paved the way for bioeconomy in Finland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNWBC 2012
    Subtitle of host publicationThe 4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference
    EditorsKlaus Niemelä
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7881-8
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7880-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2012 - Helsinki, Finland
    Duration: 23 Oct 201225 Oct 2012 (Full proceedings)

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Technology


    Conference4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2012
    Abbreviated titleNWBC 2012
    Internet address


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