Reaching sustainability goals with advanced biofuels
As opposed to regular biofuels, advanced biofuels are made of renewable raw materials from non-food sources, such as agricultural or forestry residue.
“These so-called second-generation biofuels make fuel production more sustainable, as they aren’t directly linked to or competing with other industries such as the food and feed chain,” said Rainio.
UPM BioVerno advanced biofuels are made from wood-based residue called tall oil at the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery in south-east Finland.
“Crude tall oil originates from sustainably-managed forests — it is a residue of pulp production where wood fibres are separated to produce raw material for paper. It doesn’t compromise biodiversity because using residue streams doesn’t increase wood harvesting or land use.”
Wood-based advanced biofuels are a sustainable way to reach circular economy targets and reduce emissions in the road transport industry by replacing fossil raw materials with renewable choices.
“Advanced biofuels lower exhaust emissions on the road and generate 80 percent less greenhouse gas emissions over the life cycle than fossil diesel. Furthermore, the drop-in fuel is fully compatible with all diesel engines,” Rainio added.
Advanced biofuels meet the most demanding sustainability requirements set for biofuels. In addition to helping customers reach sustainability goals, advanced biofuels bring flexibility to compliance management planning.
“Crop-based first-generation biofuels are capped by the EU regulation, so advanced biofuels help in carrying out the minimum quantity mandates for biofuels set in many European member states.”
Advanced biofuels rival fossil fuels in their physical properties, making them a perfect alternative also for polymer production – ranging from packaging to automotive applications.
Using more sustainable, residue-based raw materials allows for a gradual transformation from fossil to bio-based feedstock. Additionally, companies can utilise their existing processing and recycling facilities.
“There is no need to compromise on quality, recyclability, or appearance. Chemical and bioplastic industries can achieve a substantial reduction in their carbon footprint with no changes in their operations.” Rainio explained.
When it comes to the source of raw materials or the sustainability of production processes and operations, UPM has no secrets.
“Our operations are transparent from collecting feedstock to processing and the delivery of the product. Brand owners often find this traceability beneficial when communicating it onwards in their company’s value chain,” Rainio noted.