Rikard Gebart

  • Lack of Funding Puts End to Large-scale Pilot Trials of BioDME and Bio-based Methanol in Sweden - Audio

    LTU Green Fuels at Pitea SEBiofuel production at large-scale pilot operations at Piteå, Sweden will cease. Photo by courtesy of the Luleå University of Technology.

    LTU Green Fuels at Piteå—Sweden's only large-scale pilot operations for the production of liquid biofuel from forestry residue—are going to cease its activities due to lack of funding, according to a press release issued by its owner, the Luleå University of Technology.

    Despite the pilot plant's having delivered about 1000 tonnes of clean, bio-based dimethyl ether (DME) and methanol, and despite the product having been successfully trialled as fuel in commercial trucking operationsby the car manufacturer Volvo, the Swedish Energy Agency had decided not to extend funding beyond the 100 million Swedish kroner it had granted for the past three years, the press release said. It appears that the current 17 employees at LTU Green Fuels will soon have to look around for other work.

    "I think it's a shame that we have to discontinue the work at the plant but I am nevertheless hopeful that the technology [developed there] has a future. It has been thoroughly verified in our pilot plant", said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., professor at the LTU and part of the research and development platform Bio4Energy Thermochemical Conversion Technologies.

    In successive interviews since the start of Bio4Energy in 2010, he has been pointing out that for industry to take the step to commercialisation, a long-term and stable political framework is needed that is supportive of a large-scale roll out of second-generation or more advanced biofuels and co-products.