UPM: Wood-based liquid biofuels are an essential part of fossil fuel replacement


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Wood-based liquid biofuels for Finnair?

UPM and WWF Finland have engaged in a dialogue on the status of wood-based liquid biofuels in Finland and present a list of joint measures to be carried out to promote sustainability.


Renewable sources of energy and sustainable production methods are key in reducing the ecological footprint. Sustainable wood-based liquid biofuels can be an essential part of fossil fuel replacement solutions and play an important role in a sustainability for the transport sector, that presently have no other renewable alternatives, namely aviation, heavy duty road transport and shipping, since they can considerably reduce transport emissions.

When wood-based liquid biofuels are produced using raw materials from sustainably managed forests and provided that the carbon stock impacts and indirect impacts are accounted for and minimised, they are among the most promising biofuel alternatives in terms of low environmental and social risks.

“We have worked together with UPM for a long time, and wood-based biofuels have been the most recent topic of our joint discussions. We agree on a number of matters. However, there are also issues that we disagree on, such as stump removal, and our dialogue on these issues continues,” says Liisa Rohweder, Ceo of WWF Finland.

UPM and WWF Finland support new generation biofuels, which considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions when compared to fossil fuels while meeting credible sustainability criteria.

They work together to minimise the impact of wood-based liquid biofuel production on forest biodiversity and carbon stocks, as well as limiting the impact on food production.

Biodiversity must be preserved by protecting sufficient amount of forests and by adhering to the highest possible sustainability standard in the management of commercial forests. The impact of biofuels on the climate must be minimised by creating lower greenhouse gas emissions from biofuel production, by reducing the climate impact caused by the use of forests and by using residue streams as raw material wherever possible.

The wider impact of using residues in biofuels production should be investigated further. Residue streams of the forest industry, such as tall oil, represent a lower risk wood-based raw material for biofuels.

At EU level, both WWF Finland and UPM promote legally binding, robust and ambitious sustainability criteria for biofuels. Transparency in the production of sustainable biofuels and continuous improvement of practices and public policies are the best methods in ensuring the sustainable production and use of wood-based biomass.

“UPM aims to communicate the opportunities of wood-based biofuels and matters related to sustainability to new stakeholders in the transport fuel sector. Certification of biofuels, sustainable forest industry and forest certification programmes are the primary ways to promote the responsible production of biofuels and supply chain management,” says Sari Mannonen, Director, Sales and Marketing, UPM Biofuels.

UPM plans to become a major player in high quality, advanced biofuels for transport. Biofuels are an essential part of its Biofore strategy. The innovative wood-based biofuels developed by the company and their production technologies are part of a sustainable future.

One thought on “UPM: Wood-based liquid biofuels are an essential part of fossil fuel replacement

  1. Brian Rutledge 7 December 2014 / 4:46 pm

    “The wider impact of using residues in biofuels production should be investigated further. Residue streams of the forest industry, such as tall oil, represent a lower risk wood-based raw material for biofuels.”

    Residue stream byproducts have been a goal of many pulp & paper mills for a very long time. Currently these byproducts are mostly burned for energy within the “power and recovery” process within the mill (in practical terms these are already biofuels, but not under most legal definitions). Some collect papermaking byproducts to make higher value chemicals such as the mouth-cooling ingredient in breath mints, birch sweeteners, activated carbon etc. Others make fuel pellets, charcoal briquettes etc that may have a local market. The key, I believe, is to use “waste” that is low-to-negative value and generate higher-value products that are currently saleable. The lower the value, the more local the market.

    I’m a bit uncertain about what the author means by “lower risk” wood-based products for biofuels. I would not consider the product very risky for the buyer. Am I wrong? Considering the investment needed to create a new “bolt-on” biofuel process there is considerable risk for the biofuel maker. Is that what the author means?

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