Cellulosic ethanol will soon be produced from wood sawdust
In May, Novozymes announced that we will supply customized enzyme technology to a Finnish plant – the first facility in the world to produce cellulosic ethanol from wood sawdust. This announcement marks an important step for cellulosic ethanol production in regions that are rich in softwood. (Softwood comes from trees like pine which have needles instead of leaves.)
The new biorefinery will be built by St1 Biofuels in Kajaani, Finland, and will be co-located at a sawmill site. The plant will initially produce 10 million liters of cellulosic ethanol; however, this can be scaled up to annual output of 50 to 100 million liters.
Northern Europe has a large industrial sector based on forestry, and this opens up many possibilities. The biomass and specialist knowledge is available here, and the long-term political framework is in place in Finland which all works together to enable the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol based on softwood.
The construction of the biorefinery supports Finland’s climate and energy strategy. The country seeks to decrease their dependence on fossil fuels by reducing oil imports and increasing the share of renewable fuels. Specifically, Finland’s target is to expand renewable fuel use to 40% by 2030—an increase from the current use of 8%.
Construction of the biorefinery is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2015, with production expected to start in 2016.
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