BeWhere Sweden webBeWhere Sweden. Illustration by courtesy of Elisabeth Wetterlund, Bio4Energy and the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels. In a medium-term perspective until 2030, biomass gasification would be the most cost-efficient option for rolling out advanced biofuel production on a large scale in Sweden, a new research report based on energy system modelling confirms. However, attached analysis of stakeholder advice shows, central actors in the sector have turned their backs on biofuel-making options that require large investments.

Instead, they appear to favour drop-in fuels made from bio-based hydrocarbons, which properties are similar to those of standard petrol and diesel and can be produced in existing oil refineries. Such advanced drop-ins are being made on a pilot scale by Bio4Energy member RISE Energy Technology Center at Piteå, Sweden and their partner Suncarbon. So-called de-polymerisation of the wood polymer lignin could be a basis for this type of process.

The report, ending a project called BeWhere - Stakeholder analysis of biofuel production in Sweden, is based on an international energy system model called BeWhere, but which has been adapted to national conditions.

“The dialogue with stakeholders shows that the investment appetite is very low. Smaller operational units with lower capex are preferred and drop-in fuels. The [production] process would be less complicated and existing refineries used. The idea is to use existing facilities, with minor upgrades”, according to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., project leader and part of the research platform Bio4Energy System Analysis and Bioeconomy at the Luleå University of Technology.

The results, published last month, caps off a system analysis project kicked off in 2012 to identify the most advantageous locations for biofuel production in Sweden, financed by the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels (f3 Centre) and the Swedish Energy Agency via a national research programme named Renewable Fuels and Systems.

The results of the model runs, complemented with analysis of stakeholder workshops and interviews, are designed to guide policy-makers in their efforts to determine which type of biofuel technology to support. Cost-efficiency has been a key criterion for gauging the optimal type, size and location of possible biofuel production facilities.

More specifically, the package is "part of a larger toolbox in the transformation towards large-scale forest-based biofuel production. The model is intended to be used at a strategic decision-making level. This type of decision-making refers to long-term decisions that usually involve investment-intensive decisions, and which typically pertain to the design of the biomass supply network and policies affecting this", according to the report.   

To follow up and broaden the techno-economic knowledge base on short term and long-term options for biofuel production, Bio4Energy researcher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., in his new role at the Swedish Environmental Institute IVL, heads an f3 Centre project that will deliver its first report early 2018. Researcher from the Luleå University of Technology (Wetterlund and Yawer Jafri) and RISE Innventia also are part of the project on behalf of Bio4Energy.  

For more information on the two projects, visit the f3 Centre website:

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