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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Integration of next-generation biofuel production in the Swedish forest industry - A geographically explicit approach

Pettersson, Karin; Wetterlund, Elisabeth; Athanassiadis, Dimitris; Lundmark, Robert; Ehn, Christian; Lundgren, Joakim; Berglin, Niklas


The geographic locations of biofuel production facilities should be strategically chosen in order to minimise the total cost of using biofuels. Proximity to biomass resources, possibilities for integration, and distance to biofuel users are aspects that need to be considered. In this paper, the geographically explicit optimisation model BeWhere Sweden was used to investigate the future production of next-generation biofuels from forest biomass in Sweden. A focus was placed on the integration of biofuel production with the existing forest industry, as well as on how different parameters affect biofuel production costs, the choice of technologies and biofuels, and the localisation of new biofuel plants. Six examples of different biofuel routes were considered. A methodology was developed considering detailed, site-specific conditions for potential host industries. The results show that the cost of biomass and the biofuel plant capital cost generally dominate the biofuel cost, but the cost for biomass transportation and biofuel distribution can also have a significant impact. DME produced via black liquor gasification (naturally integrated with chemical pulp mills) and SNG produced via solid biomass gasification (mainly integrated with sawmills), dominate the solutions. The distribution of these technology cases varies depending on a number of parameters, including criteria for sizing biofuel plants, the electricity price, the biofuel distribution cost and the cost of biomass, and is sensitive to changes in these parameters. Generally, plants with low specific investment costs (i.e., high biofuel production) and/or plants with low specific biomass transportation costs occur most frequently in the solutions. Because these properties often vary significantly among biofuel production facilities at different host industry sites of the same type, the results show the advantage of including site-specific data in this type of model. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Biofuels; Bioenergy; Energy system optimisation; Process integration; Forest industry

Published in

Applied Energy
2015, volume: 154, pages: 317-332

Authors' information

Pettersson, Karin
Luleå University of Technology
Wetterlund, Elisabeth
Luleå University of Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Lundmark, Robert
Luleå University of Technology
Ehn, Christian
Lundgren, Joakim
Luleå University of Technology
Berglin, Niklas

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG7 Affordable and clean energy

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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