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Researchers want to test-fly Swedish bio jet fuel 2021

Published: 14 November 2018

Luleå University of Technology has been granted funding by the Swedish Energy Agency for a preparatory study, and hopefully, within a few years, they can test to produce bio jet fuel on Swedish forest–based residues - and test-fly it on commercial flights in Sweden. The preliminary study will facilitate and risk minimize a first commercial plant for the production of aviation bio jet fuel on Swedish forest–based residues.

The partners in the project covers the entire value chain, with SAS and BRA airlines, Dutch SkyNRG, RISE, German Ineratec and Schmidtsche Schack, Smurfit Kappa Piteå, Sveaskog, Fly Green Fund, and Svebio. Swedavia, owner of airports in Sweden and KLM has written support letters and will follow the progress of the project. The Swedish Energy Agency writes in the granted application that the project has the potential to contribute to the development and increase use of sustainable biofuels for airplanes in Sweden

– The aim of the entire project is to provide a technical and economic validation of the concept; to fly commercially on bio jet fuel on Swedish forest–based residues. The result of the study will clarify the prerequisites for a demonstration of the full value chain from forest-based raw materials to aviation bio jet fuel, and can be seen as a pre-emptive step towards the actual use of biofuels in commercial airplanes in Sweden. We want to show that this concept works in practice, and not just on paper, Fredrik Granberg, says, project manager and researcher in Energy Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

The Energy Agency assesses the study as important for evaluating and analyzing the conditions and potential of aviation bio fuel production through gasification followed by Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis. The Luleå researchers believe that gasification of forest-based residues followed by FT technology and the processing of products is the most relevant and promising in the Swedish perspective in the coming years in terms of technology maturity, raw material availability, sustainability and cost. The efficiency of green products from the two most promising forest biomass feedstock’s, branches and tree tops (GROT) and black liquor, is about 40 percent with FT technology.

– We believe that the concept provides the shortest and most sustainable starting distance to produce large volumes of biofuel for commercial flights in Sweden, Fredrik Granberg says.

He states that the concept, also can be developed to increase more than twice the amount of biofuels from the same amount of biomass with the addition of hydrogen, through electrolysis of renewable electricity. The preliminary study, now granted by the Energy Agency, involves technical investigation of manufacturing technology for a possible demonstration project at LTU Green Fuels, a fuel certification, investigation of the biofuel supply chain to efficiently delivery to Swedish airports, planning field tests in aircraft and investigating how a business plan should look forward to being able to support a commercialization of manufacturing technology.