Europe, the world’s largest demand market for biodiesel, will experience shortages as the EU's Renewable Energy Directive sets a binding target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.  

Greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow as the demand for energy increases and the blending mandates create a market that firstt generation biodiesel will be unable to fulfil.

The market size for biodiesel in the EU was 10 million metric tons per year in 2012. This is likely to increase to approximately 21 million metric tons by 2020. Regulatory pressures to limit carbon emissions and food-based fuels provide an increasingly attractive opportunity for second generation biofuels.

The market size for biodiesel in the EU was 10 million metric tons per year in 2012. This is likely to increase to approximately 19 million metric tons by 2020. Regulatory pressures to limit carbon emissions provide an increasingly attractive opportunity for second generation biofuels. The existing regulation would, in effect, mean a market of over 3.3 million metric tons each year for lignocellulosic biofuels in Europe and over 180 thousand metric tons in Finland.

Finland is in unique position due to its abundance of woody biomass together with its extremely ambitious bioeconomy policy.

Bioeconomy refers to an economy that relies on renewable natural resources to produce food, energy, products and services. The bioeconomy will reduce our dependence on fossil l resources, prevent biodiversity loss and create new economic growth and jobs in line with the principles of sustainable development.

The objective of the Bioeconomy Strategy is to push our bioeconomy output up to EUR 100 billion by 2025 and to create 100,000 new jobs. Finland is also aiming to reach a  target of 40% biofuels usage by 2030. The plant in Kemi will help to fulfill the demand of renewable energy in Finland.

Read more about Finland’s bioeconomy strategyhere: https://www.tem.fi/files/40366/The_Finnish_Bioeconomy_Strategy.pdf

From energy wood to biodiesel

The biomass used in the Kemi plant is fully sustainable wood-based biomass. In addition to local energy wood the plant can utilize sawmill by-products and even leftover bark from forest industry. No other lignocellulosic biomass to biodiesel plants are currently operational and commercialized, though some are piloted. Kaidi has a similar pilot plant in Wuhan, China.

Kaidi’s technology is based on

  • Plasma gasification that converts organic matter into synthetic gas, electricity, and slag using plasma.
  • Syngas cleanup that scrubs and filters unwanted or environmentally damaging impurities.
  • The Fischer-Tropsch process is a collection of chemical reactions that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons. It is a key component of gas to liquids technology and already widely used in industry. To this process Kaidi has added a proprietary catalyst.

The plant will produce biodiesel that is a “drop-in” fuel: unlike first generation biodiesel, this has  no differences to refinery diesel. It can be utilized in the current infrastructure of pumps, pipelines and other existing equipment.