Envigas R&D department, which develops advanced pyrolysis of biomass, is located just outside Skellefteå, in the north of Sweden. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of biomass which is fed into a reactor under elevated temperature and without access to oxygen. It converts the organic material into bio-carbon (or bio-coal), a little ash, bio-oil and a pyrolysis gas (syngas).
Biomass in the form of chopped wood, bark or sawdust from the forest industry, or agricultural residues like husks or straw or even slurries of manure has historically been deposited, composted or incinerated.
Envigas offers an environmentally friendly and economical alternative to create higher values of the residual products. The company build, own and operate high-precision pyrolysis processes to turn organic residuals into commodities like bio-carbon, bio-oil and syngas. The process is well proven with some 40 installations worldwide, but none in Scandinavia.
Envigas has just launched a first demo plant in Bureå, south of Skellefteå in the north of Sweden and plans to build many more in line with increased demand for the products.
Bio-carbon can replace fossil carbon in virtually all applications. As a reduction material for the metallurgical industry, as feed supplement and soil improvement in agriculture and as an input product in carbon black instead of fossil oil for rubber, plastics and as toner in laser printers.
Bio-oil can replace ordinary fossil oil as fuel or be converted to a bio-crude oil and used as input for the biorefinery when producing jet fuel, diesel or gasoline.
The syngas can be incinerated in a boiler, the energy content is about half of natural gas, the syngas can also be converted to methanol or hydrogen to increase its value.
In 2018 and early 2019, much has happened in Envigas. In early 2018, it was decided to build a first demonstration plant in Bureå outside Skellefteå. The plant was opened at the beginning of 2019. Shortly a decision will be taken concerning a larger production unit. To this project, a grant of 22.3 million SEK has already been granted. The upcoming production facility will provide the metallurgical industry with bio-carbon instead of fossil carbon, as well as produce bio-oil for biofuels.
Envigas uses a circular business model and owns or co-owns their pyrolysis facilities.
Text: Maria Klintenäs and Tobias Brink
Photo: Maria Klintenäs
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