Mon, 19:49, 18 Feb 2008
UPM and L&T develop ethanol production from commercial and industrial waste into biofuel
UPM and Lassila & Tikanoja (L&T) have developed a new ethanol and energy production concept that, for the first time, utilises commercial and industrial waste. UPM and L&T have studied the concept under laboratory conditions in cooperation with the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and will now begin extensive testing at VTTТs Rajamфki unit. The objective is to be ready by the end of the year to decide on building a commercial scale plant.
In the production concept developed by UPM and L&T, ethanol and energy are produced from commercial and industrial waste, such as paper, cardboard, wood and plastic. The paper industryТs de-inking sludge, which is generated in mills that use recycled fibre when printing ink is removed from recovered paper, is also a suitable raw material. When mixed with petrol, ethanol manufactured from these raw materials that, until now, have been utilised only partly is suitable for traffic biofuel.
The planned ethanol and energy production plant can operate in connection with a waste treatment unit or a paper mill. A part of the waste used as raw material is utilised for generating ethanol and a part for generating energy. The solution makes it possible to manufacture cost-effective second-generation biofuels for traffic in Europe without endangering the raw material supply of the forest industry.
In the EU's recent energy and climate package, it is considered that biofuels produced from waste and ligno-cellulosic material contribute to the mitigation of climate change more than other biofuels. Their contribution in the targeted consumption volume set by the EU is considered to be twice that of traditional biofuels.
Utilising commercial and industrial waste in the production of ethanol and energy causes remarkably less greenhouse gas emissions than dumping the waste at a landfill. Making ethanol from waste puts less stress on the climate than its production from grain, which is the traditional raw material. In addition, using waste promotes the recycling of material in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.