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sábado, 16 de diciembre de 2017

Steeper Energy is partnering with Silva Green Fuel to construct an advanced biofuels plant at demo scale in Norway

Type of post: NEWS.

Steeper Energy is partnering with Silva Green Fuel to construct an advanced biofuels plant at demonstration scale in Norway (see press release from Steeper Energy and press release from Södra, 15/12/2017). Steeper Energy is a Danish-Canadian clean-fuel company focused on commercializing their proprietary Hydrofaction™ technology. Silva Green Fuel is a joint venture formed by Statkraft (leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe's largest generator of renewable energy) and Södra (group with extensive forestry operations and producer of paper pulp, sawn timber and bioenergy).

They formed the joint venture in 2015 with the aim of establishing future production of biofuels based on forest raw material (see press release, 17/02/2015). Statkraft owns 51% of the company and Södra the other 49%. Also, Statkraft acquired all of the shares in Södra Cell Tofte AS, which owned the industrial site of the former Tofte cellulose plant. The partnership with Steeper Energy is the first step towards Silva Green Fuel producing commercial-scale transport biofuels. The demo plant will confirm engineering data and design protocols to de-risk future commercial scale facilities planned to be built by Silva. Steeper Energy is actively entertaining partnerships with biomass aggregators or energy producers to develop similar commercial-scale projects.

Project factsheet

Former pulp mill located in Tofte (Norway).
Woody residues from the forest industry.
Products and production capacity
Renewable crude oil that will be upgraded to renewable diesel, jet or marine fuel.
4,000 litres per day.
Steeper will license its proprietary Hydrofaction™ technology to Silva, who will build the facility over the next 18 months.
It is expected to be in operation by spring 2019.
Test period: 2019-2020.

Figure 1. Location of the new demo biofuels plant in Tofte and some data about the project (courtesy of Steeper Energy)

The technology

Hydrofaction™ is an implementation of hydrothermal liquefaction which applies supercritical water as a reaction medium for the conversion of biomass directly into a high-energy density renewable crude oil, referred to as Hydrofaction™ Oil.

Those are some characteristics of the process and the product:
- It achieves biomass-to-oil conversions of 45% on a mass basis and 85% on an energy basis.
-  The bio-crude produces 80%+ fewer CO2 emissions when compared to fossil (well-to-wheel).
- The biofuel can be easily integrated into existing petroleum infrastructure and is physically comparable to fossil fuels.
- Although initially focusing on low-value forestry by-products, the technology can also utilize many other biomass feedstocks, including urban organic wastes, agricultural residues, animal manure and algae.

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