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Biocoal as a replacement for coal studied for the first time in Finland on an industrial scale

Archive 23.10.2012 16:00 EEST
UPM, Helsinki, 23 October 2012) – UPM, Metso, Helsingin Energia and PVO-Lämpövoima are conducting the world’s first research program covering the entire value chain to investigate the possibilities of using biocoal, ie. torrefied bio-fuel, to replace coal in energy production.

The TISCO project (TORREFACTION – Integration and Suitability for CO-firing) focuses on researching the suitability of fuel produced through torrefaction for co-firing in a coal power plant on an industrial scale. The project also encompasses an analysis of the emissions arising from the bio-fuel during its entire life cycle, from wood procurement to power and heat generation.

The companies involved in the project are investigating the suitability of Finnish biocoal for use as fuel in its various stages of procurement, production and use.
• UPM procures and supplies wood raw material and is interested in trading with and using biocoal in energy production.
• Metso develops the process expertise related to the torrefaction of wood.
• PVO-Lämpövoima studies the integration of torrefaction technology to power plant process.
• Helsingin Energia and PVO-Lämpövoima are looking into the possibilities of using biocoal in their power and heat production. For Helsingin Energia, the research project is part of the development program that aims to achieve a carbon-neutral future by 2050.

Biocoal is a renewable fuel which, when used to replace fossil fuels, reduces carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and mitigates climate change. It is produced through the torrefaction of wood chips at a temperature of around 300 degrees Celsius to disintegrate their fiber structure. The resulting torrefied wood material can be pelletized or briquetted for further use.

The energy density of biocoal is 5–6 times higher than that of wood chips and about 1.5 times higher than that of pellets. Compared to pellets, biocoal is also easier to transport and store, as it tolerates moisture better.

According to initial assessments, biocoal could replace part of the coal used in power plants in as little as a few years, thus reducing CO2 emissions. Along with the companies involved, the extensive research project is financed by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. The project will be completed in August 2013.

For further information, please contact:
Director, Matti Oksanen, UPM Energy, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, tel. +358 40 483 6035,
General Manager Jussi Mäntyniemi, Power business line, Metso, tel. +358 40 769 8154,
Managing Director Petri Hurri, PVO-Lämpövoima Oy, tel. +358 50 3133 231
Head of Unit Jukka Rouhiainen, Development of Energy Operations, tel. +358 40 334 6638,

UPM: Anneli Kunnas (anneli.kunnas@upm.com)
Metso Power: Satu Lamminen (satu.lamminen@metso.com)
Pohjolan Voima: Hannele Kukka (hannele.kukka@pvo.fi)
Helsingin Energia: Sanna Jääskeläinen (sanna.jaaskelainen@helen.fi)

UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 24,000 people and it has production plants in 17 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed EUR 10 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki stock exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com

UPM, Corporate Communications
Media Desk, tel. +358 40 588 3284