Bio-oil applications


Bio-oil is very suitable for use in burners.

Red Arrow Products’ facility in the USA has commercially produced heat from bio-oil for over 10 years. Bio-oil is sprayed into a 5-MW cyclone burner through a steel nozzle and vaporized with air.

Oilon Oy, a burner manufacturer in Finland, makes different sizes of bio-oil burners for boiler environments.

Lime sludge reburning kilns

The lime sludge reburning kilns of pulp mills are an excellent target for the use of bio-oil. CO2-neutral bio-oil can be used in lime sludge reburning kilns to replace heavy fuel oil and natural gas. This requires only small modifications to the combustion systems. No modifications are needed when replacing almond oil.

There have been several cases of bio-oil being tested in lime sludge reburning kilns in the 2000s, mainly in the USA. The results have been promising.

Diesel engines

Slow- and medium-speed diesel engines operate with different grades of liquid fuels. Liquid bio-oil is well suited for diesel engines, when bio-oil properties are taken into consideration in the engine’s standard materials. Diesel engines suitable for bio-oil are used by industry and in maritime transportation.


Co-firing bio-oil with fossil fuels has been researched at a commercial level, particularly at big coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.

The American Red Arrow Products has co-fired bio-oil with coal in a boiler equipped with a 20-MWe Stoker burner for a duration of 370 hours with a 5-percent share of bio-oil. The plant operated without any notable problems after cost-efficient boiler modifications. No adverse effects were noticed in emissions levels, the maintenance program or ash handling.

In Zwolle, Netherlands, bio-oil has been co-fired with natural gas at a 350-MWe plant at a flow of 2 t/h. In the co-firing, the bio-oil responded in the same way as light fuel, and no sediment was detected at the tip of the feed nozzle. The test demonstrated that bio-oil can be used in natural gas-fired plants without compromising operational reliability.

Future applications

• Upgrading to transportation fuel
• Chemical industry applications
• Materials technology
• Pharmaceutical industry
• Cosmetics industry
• Other applications

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