Global Bioenergies, Preem, Sekab and Sveaskog join forces to develop forest-based fuel


Marc Delcourt, co-founder and CEO of Global Bioenergies
Marc Delcourt, co-founder and CEO of Global Bioenergies

Global Bioenergies, Preem, Sekab and Sveaskog yesterday announced having joined forces to develop a high-performance fuel entirely based on forest resources. The consortium has signed a collaboration agreement to carry out a conceptual scope study for a first plant in Sweden. This work will be carried out as part of the “Bio-Based Gasoline Project” with support from the Swedish Energy Agency.

In April this year, Preem, Sekab and Sveaskog had announced having entered into a collaboration to develop a gasoline fuel based entirely on forest resources with support from the Swedish Energy Agency. The consortium has selected the Isobutene process developed by the French industrial biotech Global Bioenergies for the conversion of wood derived sugars into high performance gasoline.

With close to 30 million hectares of forest land (14% of which being owned and managed by Sveaskog), Sweden positions itself as a leader in the sustainable supply of resources for the energy transition. To reduce the country’s dependence on fossil transport fuels and maximize regional impact, state-of-the-art technological solutions must be implemented to convert this natural wealth in ready-to-use, easy to ship high performance sustainable fuels.

Over the coming months, the consortium will study various plant scenarios to profitably convert forestry products and residues into bio-isooctane, a 100-octane rating, high-performance bio-based gasoline derived from bio-isobutene. The value chain will rely on Sveaskog’s foresty activities, Sekab’s CelluAPP® biomass to sugar conversion process, Global Bioenergies wood-sugars to Isobutene process and Preem’s gasoline production processes, blending and retailing activities.

“Sveaskog’s priority – Ann-Britt Edfast, R&D Manager at Sveaskog says – is to develop new uses for forest biomass. Our assessment is that forest resources will play a crucial role in the green transition to a fossil-free society. The value chain developed here is of particular interest for Sveaskog since it can use a range of forestry derived by-products and targets a drop-in molecule.”

Thore Lindgren, Vice President of Sekab E-Technology AB adds “The Bio-Based Gasoline Project will enable the large scale commercial deployment of our CelluAPP® wood-conversion technology and will demonstrate how it can open the forestry sector to the vast new array of markets and in the first instance to high performance bio-based gasoline”.

Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies further adds “The diversification of feedstock has always been central to the development of our Isobutene technology as it opens new territories and markets to our process. Following a first plant project in France based on sugar-beet we are delighted to now work at its deployment downstream of the Swedish forestry industry”.

Stefan Nystrom, Business Development Engineer at Preem concludes: “The ability to produce drop-in, high performance bio-based gasoline in Sweden from residuals of the Swedish forestry is a central brick in our strategy and commitment to the environment. This partnership offers an entirely new technical solution to produce well known, high performance molecules such as isooctane and to establish a new bridge between our country’s forest and our consumers need for sustainable energy sources”.

The cooperative project is partly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and will run during the year 2016/17.

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