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miércoles, 25 de octubre de 2017

UPM evaluates building a wood-based biorefinery to produce green chemicals in Germany

UPM calls itself the Biofore company. It is a new industry category UPM has created to describe its future. “Bio” stands for sustainable solutions and good environmental performance. “Fore” stands for forest and the company’s position at the forefront of development. An important milestone in its journey towards this future was the start-up of the world’s first commercial biorefinery producing wholly wood-based renewable diesel and naphtha in January 2015 (see UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery in the list of advanced commercial biorefineries in Europe).

Figure 1. UPM Lappeeranta Biorefinery (extracted from the web page of the company). World’s first commercial biorefinery producing wholly wood-based renewable diesel and naphtha. Now, UPM evaluates the potential of building a new wood-based biorefinery in Germany.

Now, UPM moves forward with the development of biochemicals business by evaluating the potential of building a new biorefinery in Germany (see press release). The new-to-the-world biorefinery would combine novel technologies and utilize sustainable wood raw material in an innovative way. This opportunity is the outcome of more than five years of extensive technology development and piloting.

Project factsheet
Chemical Park Frankfurt-Höchst (Germany).
Hardwood from sustainably managed forests in Central Europe.
- Bio-monoethylene glycol (bio-MEG),
- Bio-monopropylene glycol (bio-MPG).
- Lignin.
Production capacity
150,000 metric tons per year.
- UPM will now proceed with a detailed commercial and basic engineering study (12 months of estimated duration) to verify the attractiveness of the business case.
- If all preparation phases are concluded successfully, UPM would initiate the company's standard procedure of analysing and preparing an investment decision.

Application areas for bio-MEG include textiles, bottles, packaging and deicing fluids. bio-MPG is used in composites, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and detergents. Lignin can be utilised for example in wood resins, plastics or foams and coatings. Recently, UPM Plywood introduced WISA BioBond gluing solution that replaces fossil-based phenol with lignin in plywood products (see press release).

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