Biorefining in a Circular Economy

Sweden as a new member in Task 42


Since this triennium Sweden is a member of IEA Bioenergy Task 42 Biorefining in a Circular Economy. Sweden has a large interest in biorefinery development and not least development and deployment of industrial biorefinery concepts utilising lignocellulosic residues from the forestry and/or agricultural sector. In Task 42, Sweden is represented by PhD Johanna Mossberg, Vice President Biorefinery and Energy at RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden). Johanna holds an in-depth knowledge of environmental improvement assessment of industrial production and biorefinery concepts, analysis of industrial transition and industrial collaboration between the pulp and paper industry and the chemical process industry, barriers, drivers and the role of public policy. Monitoring the biorefinery developments in Sweden, some current highlights are:

Things are moving in the innovations system around Örnsköldsvik (the city in northern Sweden where both RISE Processum and Sekab are located togehtern with many others aiming to push biorefinery development). Earlier this fall a large additional support was given to RISE from the owners (the Swedish state) to investment in biorefinery research infrastructure to accelerate development and deployment. These additional ~35 MEuro have a strong bearing on Örnsköldsvik, and now lately also the technology development company Sekab announced that it intends to apply for funding for a first full-scale facility in Örnsköldsvik for its patented CulluApp technology. In addition, LiquidWind has also announced that they have finally found a location for their first facility and that it will also be Örnsköldvsik based on cooperation with Övik Energi.

Also, the decisionmakers in policy have listened to what researchers have argued for quite a while, that policy incentives for market creation is not enough to commercialise new technologies but that also other policy, e.g. for industrialisation, is needed (see for example news item) and has appointed an inquiry (led by the Swedish Energy Agency) to analyse what additional instruments may be needed to lead to further production of renewable fuels in Sweden. It is important in this context that the focus is on production with “new technology”.