January 29, 2007

Black Liquor Gasification Technology Attracts Volvo Investment

Green Car Congress has run an article about an investment Volvo is making to help speed up the development of renewable fuels for the heavy vehicle industry.

They cite a Volvo Technology Transfer announcement and a report on the process developed by Chemrec AB of Sweden entitled Technical and Commercial Feasibility Study of Black Liquor Gasification with Methanol/DME Production as Motor Fuels for Automotive Uses—BLGMF.

Apparently their high-temperature gasification plant has recorded more than 1,100 hours of operating time producing syngas from black liquor.

Below is a snippet of the Green Car Congress article:

Volvo Invests in Black Liquor Gasification Company

Volvo Technology Transfer AB is investing in Chemrec AB, a company that has developed a technology for gasification of black liquor, a residual product from the pulp industry.

Chemrec has shown that there is an efficient process for converting biomass into renewable fuels. The Volvo Group has no intention of becoming a fuel supplier but wishes instead to continue to conduct engine development on a broad front. On the other hand, we do want to participate in the development of new processes for the production of alternative fuels.
—Anders Brännström, President of Volvo Technology Transfer

Using gasification rather than incineration to dispose of the black liquor creates a number of by-products including synthesis gas. With this synthesis gas it is possible to utilize known techniques to produce a range of vehicle fuels such as methanol, DME (dimethyl ether), Fischer-Tropsch synthetic diesel and hydrogen gas.

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