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  • What is bio-oil?

    Bio-oil, or pyrolysis oil, is a fuel produced through rapid pyrolysis and is a substitute for fossil fuel. The dark brown liquid has a pH of about 2.6 and a heating value (lower) of about 16-18 MJ/kg. Bio-oil consists of several different components, mainly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and low levels of nitrogen. The major organic components of bio-oil are liquid lignin derivatives, alcohols, natural organic acids and carbonyls.

  • Where can bio-oil be used?

    Bio-oil can be used in a variety of applications, most notably in industrial burners, forest industry lime sludge reburning kilns, and low- and medium-speed diesel engines. In the future, significant applications will include transportation fuels and upgrades for chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and materials technology applications.

  • What is fast pyrolis?

    Fast pyrolysis technology is used to produce bio-oil from biomass. In the rapid thermal process, hot sand is used to heat the biomass very quickly (<2 seconds) to a temperature of about 500 °C, at which point it gasifies. Gasification occurs in an oxygen-free environment, so no combustion occurs. When gasified biomass is condensed, bio-oil and non-condensable gases (product gases) are formed. Product gases are utilized elsewhere in the process.

  • What feedstocks are used in the production of bio-oil?

    Green Fuel Nordic uses wood-based forest biomass sourced primarily from forests and from mechanical forest industry by-products. Thus the feedstocks do not compete with the raw material streams of the food industry or with agricultural areas.

  • How much feedstock will Green Fuel Nordic’s biorefinery use?

    Based on the capacity of biorefinery it will use from 90,000 solid cubic meters of wood-based biomass per year.

  • How much bio-oil will Green Fuel Nordic’s biorefinery produce?

    Based on the capacity of biorefinery it will produce from about 24,000 tons of bio-oil per year. In terms of thermal energy, this is equivalent to the annual heat consumption of about 5,000 homes.

  • Can the use of bio-oil reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

    Bio-oil has significant positive environmental effects; energy produced with bio-oil generates 70 – 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. Replacing heavy oil in end-use applications with bio-oil (450 GWh, annual production of one plant) reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 130,000 tons  (POR 284 gCO2/kWh) and sulfur dioxide emissions by 580 tons.

  • Why refine solid biomass into liquid fuel?

    Bio-oil has several advantages compared to solid wood fuels or biomass:
    • Energy density based on calorific value is significantly higher
       - Logistics costs are lower
       - Less fuel is needed
    • Transportation and handling are easier and more cost-efficient
    • Particle emissions from combustion are smaller
    • Fossil fuel-fired boilers require only minor modifications for conversion to bio-oil
    • Bio-oil’s upgrade possibilities are significant compared to solid alternatives, like wood chips and pellets

  • What benefits does bio-oil have for Finland?

    Benefits from bio-oil include, e.g.
    • New refining path for valuable, renewable forest assets
    • Each biorefinery brings new jobs, often in communities hit by structural changes in the conventional forest industry
    • The employment effect of the construction phase of one biorefinery is large
    • Non-renewable and exhaustible fossil fuel prices are continuously rising
    • Bio-oil is a domestic fuel, fossil fuels are imported: a positive impact on energy self-sufficiency and the balance of trade
    • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and Finland’s renewable energy targets (EU 202020)
    • User avoids having to purchase emissions allowances
    • Improved carbon dioxide balance regionally
    • Increases regional bioenergy business
    • Increases and improves technology know-how regionally

  • Why replace fossil fuels with bio-oil?

    Fossil natural resources are exhaustible; their use for fuel, for example, contributes to climate change. Bio-oil is a renewable product that can be used as a replacement for heavy fuel oil. Long-term prices of fossil fuels have increased significantly, and there is a high probability that the price trend will continue.

    Bio-oil refined from local feedstock increases Finland’s energy self-sufficiency and has a positive impact on the balance of trade.

    The bio-oil end customer avoids having to purchase emissions allowances. Moreover, selecting a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels can be part of the customer’s responsible operations and thus a brand-building tool.

  • Are there similar biorefineries elsewhere?

    There are already commercially operating production plants in North America that use corresponding production technology. There are new projects under way in several countries around the world.

  • Are chemicals needed in the production of bio-oil?

    No. Converting biomass to bio-oil doesn’t require chemicals. Alcohol can be added to the finished bio-oil product to improve stability. However, GFN bio-oil doesn’t require this.

  • What is Green Fuel Nordic Oy’s ownership base?

    Green Fuel Nordic Oy is owned by company management and personnel and by a number of private equity investors. With investments, the ownership base will expand to institutional investors.

  • Is bio-oil the same thing as bio-diesel?

    No. The production processes for bio-oil and bio-diesel are completely different. They also have different targets of application. It will be possible to upgrade bio-oil to transportation fuel in the future.

  • Is bio-oil a product subject to taxation?

    Bio-oil produced from wood through pyrolysis is not a biofuel subject to energy taxation because it has not been defined in the Energy Taxation Directive as a product subjected to taxation, and it is not subject to the substitution principle of energy taxation. Bio-oil is not subject to any carbon dioxide tax (heavy fuel oil 9.72 c/kg). [Government Bill 147/2010 vp]

  • Is bio-oil hazardous to the environment?

    Studies show that bio-oil is not an environmentally hazardous substance. Bio-oil has been proven biodegradable, and its biodegradation rate is significantly higher than that of diesel. Based on laboratory tests conducted with algae and microbes, bio-oil doesn’t slow plant growth, nor is it toxic to microbes.

  • Is bio-oil hazardous to humans?

    Studies show that bio-oil is not a toxic substance. Bio-oil has been classified as a corrosive substance and can cause eye and skin irritation. When working with bio-oil, personal protective equipment is used when needed.

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