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UPM and WWF Finland co-operate to promote the sustainability of wood-based liquid biofuels

Finland-based bio and forest industries company UPM and WWF Finland have engaged in a dialogue on the status of wood-based liquid biofuels in Finland and present a list of joint measures to be carried out to promote sustainability. UPM is the developer and producer of UPM BioVerno—wood-based renewable diesel. (Earlier post.)

When wood-based liquid biofuels are produced using raw materials from sustainably managed (such as FSC certified) forests and provided that the carbon stock impacts and indirect impacts are accounted for and minimised, they are among the most promising biofuel alternatives in terms of low environmental and social risks, UPM says.

We have worked together with UPM for a long time, and wood-based biofuels have been the most recent topic of our joint discussions. We agree on a number of matters. However, there are also issues that we disagree on, such as stump removal, and our dialogue on these issues continues.

—Liisa Rohweder, CEO of WWF Finland

UPM and WWF Finland support new generation biofuels, which considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions when compared to fossil fuels while meeting credible sustainability criteria.

The wider impact of using residues in biofuels production should be investigated further. Residue streams of the forest industry, such as tall oil, represent a lower risk wood-based raw material for biofuels.

At EU level, both WWF Finland and UPM promote legally binding, robust and ambitious sustainability criteria for biofuels. Transparency in the production of sustainable biofuels and continuous improvement of practices and public policies are the best methods in ensuring the sustainable production and use of wood-based biomass, they said.

UPM and WWF Finland are also committed jointly to develop the current practices. Both contributed to the development of the RSB certification for wood-based biofuels by conducting a feasibility study on the certification of wood-based biofuels in UPM operations, which is based on the RSB requirements.

The parties will jointly conduct a scientific forest carbon impact study related to wood-based biofuels.

UPM and WWF Finland also commit to further developing the FSC standard and promoting its credibility and use in Finland.



Can this process ever be GHG neutral?


Assuming this process uses the Fischer-Tropsch process, the well-to-wheels GHG emissions are -44 g/mile when used in a CIDI (diesel) passenger car, i.e., there's a net uptake of GHG (assumes current U.S. electricity mix).

Apparently, electricity is co-produced by the FT process and can displace fossil-produced electricity in the grid?


I should have mentioned that the above calculation is according to the latest version of the GREET model (GREET1_2014)


Electric production from FT seems to rely mostly on combustion of end gases rather than reforming and recycling to the FT process (there is some steam production from reforming but not much).  Such generation would be costly to vary and thus not usable for tracking demand.

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