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RL EW L S BiorefineryRobert Lundmark and Elisabeth Wetterlund of Bio4Energy are two of the authors behind a new report saying that large-scale biorefinery operations could be added in Sweden without major increases in the price of wood. Photo by Ted Karlsson, Luleå University of Technology. A new review report named Large-Scale Implementation of Biorefineries says that biorefinery—operations for making advanced biofuels and “green” chemicals—can be rolled out on a large scale in Sweden without jeopardising the production of traditional wood products or bringing substantial increases in the cost of raw materials from the forest.

“These are interesting findings in that we see that there is scope in Sweden for adding new large-scale biorefineries”, said the study lead author, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Bio4Energy.

“We do not see that the price of feedstock would be forced upwards to any great extent”, he added.

Lundmark is one of Bio4Energy’s research leaders at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) specialising in system analysis and bioeconomy and the report a review of a number of modelling studies designed to advise policy-makers and industrialists on options for, and implications of, expanding biorefinery production. The review study itself is a collaboration between Bio4Energy at the LTU, the International Institute for Applied System Analysis and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

According to Lundmark, some of the studies underlying the new report predict the effect of increasing biorefinery production in steps of 10, 20, 30 and 40 terrawatt hours per year against a number of geographical and spatial constraints and using different technologies.

“Our review report shows that factoring in the geographical and spatial dimensions are important for the sake of taking a correct decision. For instance, centralisation [or creating large-scale operations with highly efficient supply chains]... should be preferred, generally speaking”, Lundmark said.

In their report, the authors draw the conclusion that, "Economy of scale and high biomass-to-biofuel conversion efficiencies provide the largest potentials for decreased production costs".

Said Lundmark: “What we can tell decision-makers is that we have the modelling tools to provide input for decisions on policy. If a policy-maker asks us [which strategy] should be preferred in a certain case, we will be in a position to provide an answer”.

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