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VTT wins European innovation prize for a new bio-oil production technique
Date:12/13/2012

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland along with the energy company Fortum, engineering company Metso and forestry company UPM has developed a technique that enables the cogeneration of heating energy and bio-oil in the same power plant cost-effectively and sustainably. VTT's technique is based on combining pyrolysis and fluidised bed technology. Thanks to the new technique, bio-oil production volumes can be expected to increase considerably in the next few decades. VTT received an innovation award for the new technology. The award was distributed in December by the European Association for Research and Technology Organisations EARTO.

"The innovation prize brings up the long-term work that VTT has done in developing renewable energy sources. EARTO wants to reward innovations that have significant societal and economic impact. The prize indicates that we have been successful in this work," says Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Executive Vice President, Strategic Research, VTT.

Bio-oil has for a long time been pegged as the successor of fossil fuels as our future source of energy. However, large-scale commercial use of bio-oil in heat generation requires a cost-effective production technique. The new technique patented by VTT enables a considerable cut in the production cost of bio-oil.

Fast pyrolysis involves heating biomass such as forest industry waste to a high temperature to form gas. When the gas is cooled, it condenses into liquid known as bio-oil. Combining the pyrolysis process with traditional fluidised bed boilers used in power plants brings a range of efficiency gains. Producing bio-oil with the new technique is cheaper than in a separate pyrolysis process. Bio-oil plants that are integrated into power plants are extremely energy-efficient, because the energy contained in the by-products of the pyrolysis process can be recovered in fluidised bed boilers. This is a significant improvement, because the by-products can contain as much as 40 per
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Contact: Anne-Christine Ritschkoff
anne-christine.ritschkoff@vtt.fi
358-207-225-546
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Source:Eurekalert

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