VTT Technical Research Centre, a Finnish research development and innovation institute will co-ordinate the BioFlex project exploring the used of fuel oils made from biomass and waste plastics in ship diesel engines and power plants
Because internal-combustion engine power plants use natural gas or HFO in diesel engines, VTT said a bio and waste-based alternative to conventional fuels is required for large diesel engines to be sustainable both on land and at sea. Bio-oil use is still limited due to cost and availability.
Researchers are seeking fuel oils that do not require significant modifications to diesel engines when used. Of crucial importance is that the oil keeps well in storage, mixes with fossil fuel oils and keeps sulphur, nitrogen and particulate emissions low.
VTT senior principal scientist Anja Oasmaa said “Our goal is to find the most ecologically and economically sustainable way to replace fossil heavy fuel oil in ship and power plant diesel engines. We compare different methods of industrially producing fuel oils from, for example, waste plastics or biomass, such as harvest residues from forestry and agriculture. We are also conducting experiments to examine the suitability of the oils for applications.”
VTT has expertise in sustainable development, analytics, diesel engine emissions measurement, and thermal conversion methods used in the liquefaction of biomass and waste plastics. These include pyrolysis and hydrothermal liquefaction. VTT will also utilise the expertise of the International Energy Agency.
In addition to VTT, The Business Finland BioFlex project, a three-year, €1.6M (US$1.73M) project is co-financed by Business Finland, Auramarine, Fortum, Neste, Pohjanmaan Hyötyjätekuljetus, Polartek, St1, Valmet and Wärtsilä.