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The methanol journey – with the forest in the tank

For the first time a car adapted for E85 will be driven on a mixture of petrol and Swedish-made renewable methanol. Methanol is made from forest residues at Luleå University of Technology's pilot plant. The test drive will be between Luleå and Stockholm. Behind the steering wheel is Professor Rikard Gebart thus making a historic field test.

The government wants Sweden to be one of the first countries with a fossil-fuel independent vehicle fleet in 2030. A very promising piece of the puzzle to get there would be to choose methanol as one of the fuel types. Methanol fuel is produced from waste products from the Swedish forest, and is very energy efficient.

The technology to produce methanol from Swedish forestry residues, that we know at Luleå University of Technology, after testing it in our pilot plant for more than 10,000 hours.

Luleå University of Technology has over three years been developing the technology to produce methanol in one of the world's most advanced pilot plant for gasification of various bioproducts, LTU Green Fuels. The Swedish Energy Agency has decided not to continue to support the initiative, but Professor Richard Gebart at Luleå University of Techology is still convinced that methanol is a fuel for the future.

– When the politicians have agreed on long-term fiscal and other conditions existing renewable fuels, I am convinced that the commercialization will take off in Sweden, says Rikard Gebart.

The journey

To demonstrate that E85 vehicles can run on high blends of methanol and to more closely examine how well it works will Rikard Gebart to undertake a trip from Luleå to Stockholm starting May 9 where Rikard is the first to drive with Swedish-made renewable methanol over a longer distance. During the trip, he will meet with the media to talk about the university's research on methanol and its future potential. On the 12th of May, Smedernas speedway team will drive their motorcycles on pure methanol produced in LTU's pilot plant.

I cannot guarantee that we will manage the entire route Luleå to Stockholm, but I have a great hope for it

You will be able to follow the methanol journey on Facebook,

The methanol journey in the media


Rikard Gebart

Gebart, Rikard -

Organisation: Energy Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 492196