A Bio4Energy-led research project to seek out the most cost-efficient
sites in Sweden for second-generation biofuels’ production could kick off last month as the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels, f3, decided to back it by almost SEK2 million.
As a first leg, the scientists behind it will develop a theoretical model to guide policy makers as they endeavour to match the availability of raw materials for biorefinery—woody biomass or organic waste—with parameters such as availability of land, cost of construction and production, plus ease of access for industry and environmental impacts. This first step will also entail constructing scenarios—snapshots of three likely futures for biofuels’ development in Sweden—based on variables ranging from energy prices, demand for biomass and transport fuels to assumed effects of policies governing the industry.
“Our model will seek to identify optimal locations for integrated fuel production or standalone units”, he said.
“We will be looking for lowly priced sites. We take environmental concerns into consideration: Minimising transports and making use of excess heat [from industrial processes]. Our focus will fall on the sites that we think will produce the greatest profits. This is overarching system analysis”, said Lundgren, with a nod to research being carried out by the Bio4Energy Process Integration Platform, of which he is a member.
Bio4Energy, Chalmers University of Technology and Linköping University are academic partners to the project. Swedish research institutes SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Innventia will also bring their expertise to bear. Moreover, seasoned modelers at the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis at Laxenburg, Austria, who have already developed similar models for individual countries and regional entities, are partners.
Lundgren added that there was already a model for ethanol production in Sweden, as well as an overarching European model, from which to take inspiration;
“Although this one will be a lot more detailed and will cover… all kinds of second-generation biofuels”, such as methanol and bioDME.
“I am very happy. This is a nice project in that we will be cooperating with highly qualified partners, but above all it's content is interesting. It will not only benefit... f3 actors, but also decision-makers", according to Lundgren.
- Written by Anna Strom