Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT in Finland and a group of companies, including Finnair, have started a feasibility study for a synthetic fuels pilot production plant. The intended industrial scale pilot facility is based on power-to-x technology, and the target is to produce carbon neutral fuels for transportation.
The pilot plant would be located in Joutseno, Eastern Finland. It would use CO2 from Finnsementti cement facility in Lappeenranta and the excess hydrogen from Kemira’s production as main raw materials. CO2 and hydrogen can be brought together in a synthesis process, giving synthetic methanol as a result.
Methanol can be further processed into for example synthetic, emission free transportation fuels.
The project gets in main funding from the regional council of South Carelia. Finnair, Finnsementti, Kemira, Neste, St1, Wärtsilä and Shell research center in the Netherlands are also funding the study, along with local manufacturing companies Premekon, Terästorni, Jotex Works and Refinec in the region. Also the city of Lappeenranta is a partner in the project.
“Synthetic fuels are a key part of the long-term solution for carbon neutral aviation”, says Anne Larilahti, Vice President, Sustainability, Finnair. “It is natural for us to be supporting this important study to advance the development of synthetic fuels in Finland.” Finnair is committed to long-term carbon neutrality.
“Recycling of CO2 released to the atmosphere by the industry offers a major opportunity for Finnish companies to advance carbon neutral fuel production”, says Petteri Laaksonen, Research Director, LUT Energy Systems.
“Including power-to-x solutions to sustainability strategies and concrete, more sustainable activities is a shared motivation by the participating companies. This project is seen as a chance to learn together and share knowledge”, says Jarmo Partanen, Dean of LUT School of Energy Systems. ”Some companies seek solutions to turn their own emissions into profitable raw materials. Others have a clear target to start producing or using carbon neutral fuels in the near future.”
The LUT University is in charge of conducting the feasibility study, including calculations for investments and operating costs, modeling the production process, estimating the growth potential of the market for carbon neutral fuels, developing alternative business opportunities and evaluating the sustainability of the production and the end products.
The LUT university has piloted the production of hydrocarbon to replace fossil fuels in laboratory scale since 2017.
Source: Finnair, press release, 2019-12-19.