In April this year, Preem, Sekab and Sveaskog entered into a collaboration to develop a gasoline fuel based entirely on forest resources with support from the Swedish Energy Agency. The consortium has now selected the bio-isobutene process developed by the French industrial biotech Global Bioenergies for the conversion of wood-derived sugars into a high-performance gasoline.
The consortium will study various plant scenarios t convert forestry products and residues profitably into bio-isooctane, a 100-octane rating, high-performance bio-based gasoline derived from bio-isobutene. The value chain will rely on Sveaskog’s forestry activities, Sekab’s CelluAPP biomass to sugar conversion process, Global Bioenergies wood-sugars to isobutene process and Preem’s gasoline production processes, blending and retailing activities.
With close to 30 million hectares of forest land (14% of which being owned and managed by Sveaskog), Sweden positions itself as a leader in the sustainable supply of resources for the energy transition.
Sveaskog’s priority is to develop new uses for forest biomass. Our assessment is that forest resources will play a crucial role in the green transition to a fossil-free society. The value chain developed here is of particular interest for Sveaskog since it can use a range of forestry derived by-products and targets a drop-in molecule.—Ann-Britt Edfast, R&D Manager at Sveaskog
The Bio-Based Gasoline Project will enable the large scale commercial deployment of our CelluAPP wood-conversion technology and will demonstrate how it can open the forestry sector to the vast new array of markets and in the first instance to high performance bio-based gasoline.—Thore Lindgren, Vice President of Sekab E-Technology AB
Global Bioenergies is also partnering with Audi on the production of bio-isobutene-derived iso-octane.(Earlier post.)
Isobutene is a four-carbon branched alkene and one of four isomers of butylene (C4H8); isobutene dimerization (putting two isobutene molecules together) and subsequent hydrogenation produces the eight-carbon molecule isooctane (C8H18).
Pure isooctane (2,2,4 trimethylpentane) has both a high research octane number (RON) and a high motor octane number (MON): 100 RON and 100 MON. A low Reid vapor pressure of 1.8 psi make it also attractive for bending into reformulated gasoline. As a 100% drop-in fuel, isooctane can be used in any blending ratio with all standard fuels for gasoline motors.