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LTU Green Fuels is one of the world's most advanced pilot plant for gasification of various bioproducts into synthetic gas and green fuels. Photo Leif Nyberg

First time green fuels to the industry

Published: 8 June 2015

For the first time in the world has a renewable product, green renewable dimethyl ether BioDME, come to industrial use through involvement with LPG. BioDME produced at LTU Green Fuels in Piteå owned by Luleå University of Technology. The mixture is distributed with the help of partner FLOGAS Sweden AB and is now being tested in large Swedish industrial companies.

Richard Gebart, Professor Birgitta Marke, Site Manager
Professor Richard Gebart, Luleå University of Technology and Birgitta Marke, site manager for the LTU Green Fuels

- We see great potential in using BioDME in industrial heating processes. Deliveries of a mixture with BioDME and propane is a first step towards a climate-neutral society and we are very pleased to participate in this cooperation, says Birgitta Marke, site manager at LTU Green Fuels.

The first delivery of BioDME involved in propane designed for industry went last week from the company FLOGAS to Svevia asphalt plant at Arlanda. This is the first delivery of BioDME for industrial use but it is only the beginning becauce the following summer, the mixture should also be delivered to the Swedish steel company SSAB.

The green fuel BioDME is produced by LTU Green Fuels via gasification of black liquor that is a by-product of the pulp industry. BioDME is also an excellent diesel fuel being tested by Volvo in a new generation of trucks in an ongoing research at Luleå University of Technology.

Through the involvement of BioDME in propane (LPG), it becomes useful in industrial processes without the need to change something in the process equipment. With a 20% mixture of BioDME in propane reduces greenhouse gas emissions about 20% compared with pure propane. According partner FLOGAS the idea is to gradually increase the involvement of BioDME to eventually achieve 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. To be first out as a test object is high rated by the first industrial recipient of the new product.

- We are very pleased to have the opportunity to try this fuel in our asphalt plants, says Magnus Petterson, construction engineer at Svevia asphalt plant at Arlanda.

BioDME has been developed with support from the Swedish Energy Agency in the research program where Luleå University of Technology participated and more recently within LTU Biosyngas program that Professor Richard Gebart is responsible for.

- The university has since many years a large involvement in processes for the conversion of biomass to climate-neutral and cost-effective fuels and chemicals. Research has now come so far that we have begun a validation of processes on a larger scale and it is satisfying to see that there is a great interest from the industry to test the new options on a commercial scale, he says.