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Norway Launches 4-Year Wood Gasification Research Project

By Green Car Congress on 05/15/2010 – 7:55 am PDTLeave a Comment

Norway has launched a four-year, 25-million kroner (US$4-million) wood gasification research project led by SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia. The project is a joint public and private-sector effort, to which the Research Council of Norway (Norges forskningsråd) contributes 80% of the funding, while the remaining 20% comes from industry.

The project is being led by SINTEF Energy Research, and NTNU is also active on the research side. Industrial participants include Xynergo, a Norwegian wood biomass-to-liquids startup, as well as Norske Skog and the Finnish equipment manufacturer Netso.

Xynergo was established by the Norske Skog company and four forestry companies in 2008; the two-year-old company is aiming to start Norwegian production of synthetic diesel with a Fischer-Tropsch process using wood as the feedstock.

Gasification is the key technology in the production of second-generation biodiesel, and this is still not commercially available as a scaled-up technology.

—Gjermund Røkke, Xynergo’s technical director

This joint research venture is one of the Research Council of Norway’s “Competence Projects with User Participation”.

Chief scientist Lars Sørum of SINTEF Energy Research, who is leading the project, says that there are two main types of wood gasification technology that differ in terms of complexity and their requirements for pretreatment of the raw materials.

The project will enable us to perform technoeconomic studies of both solutions. We will develop laboratory-scale equipment for optimizing the gasification process and identify the best raw materials.

—Lars Sørum

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