Volvo invests in renewable fuels

Volvo Technology Transfer has announced that it is investing in Chemrec, a company that has developed a technology for the production of synthesis gases.


Volvo Technology Transfer is investing in Chemrec, a company that has developed a technology for the production of synthesis gases, an important component in the production of alternative fuels.



This investment is part of the Volvo Group’s drive to help speed up the development of renewable fuels for the heavy vehicle industry.



At its pilot plant in Piteå in northern Sweden, Chemrec produces synthesis gas from black liquor, which is a residual product from the pulp industry.



Currently, this black liquor is incinerated in soda furnaces where the chemicals are recovered and where the energy that is generated has a relatively low efficiency rating. By gasifying the black liquor, a number of by-products are produced including synthesis gas, which has a higher efficiency rating.



With this synthesis gas it is possible to utilise known techniques to extract vehicle fuels such as bio-diesel, hydrogen gas, synthetic diesel and DME.



Work on the development of this technology has been conducted for more than 15 years and today Chemrec can extract synthesis gas from black liquor in continuous operation. The next stage will be to produce fuel.



‘Chemrec has shown that there is an efficient process for converting biomass into renewable fuels,’ said Anders Brännström, President of Volvo Technology Transfer. ‘The Volvo Group has no intention of becoming a fuel supplier but wishes instead to continue to conduct engine development on a broad front. On the other hand, we do want to participate in the development of new processes for the production of alternative fuels.’