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The goal: a greener aviation fuel

Published: 9 October 2017

Researchers at Luleå University of Technology participate in an exploratory study to find the most promising technologies for sustainable production of renewable aviation fuels from forest raw materials. This could reduce aviation's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent.

– The purpose of the project is to offer a solution where today's domestic fuel can be replaced by biofuel. We will map possible technologies to produce biofuels from forest raw materials. In addition, we will study business models to handle the higher production costs of biofuels compared with fossil fuels, says Fredrik Granberg, Project Manager at Energy Engineering, Luleå University of Technology.

Reduced carbon dioxide emissions

In addition to investigating possible production techniques, areas such as commodity supply, logistics and location will be studied. Fredrik Granberg says renewable aviation fuel can create new business opportunities and jobs and stimulate sustainable growth in the forest industry. It would also reduce environmental impact from the Swedish aviation sector, by up to 80 percent reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

– Large production facilities are normally needed to make this kind of business profitable that in turn means large investment and risk exposure. This project focuses on two keys to achieving it, namely demonstrating technology and new business models, where the public's willingness to fly green is linked to the necessary investments, says Fredrik Granberg.

Create conditions for commercialization

Colleague Elisabeth Wetterlund, Associate professor at Luleå University of Technology, will also work with the exploratory study. Fredrik Granberg hopes they can then continue the work in a subsequent project.

– The biggest difficulty with the project is to with limited resources gather information to draw the right conclusions, given that it spans a whole value chain with many aspects to be weighed together. Another challenge is that the area is constantly evolving, says Fredrik Granberg and continues:

– We hope to get a good result where we will be able to demonstrate the concept of a subsequent project. In the long term, the goal is to develop and demonstrate the solution we arrive in pre-commercial scale, and provide the conditions for the first large commercial plant.

The project is part of Bio4Energy.


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