Swedish waste power plant switches from fossil oil to biofuel

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, Swedish waste power plant Renova has upgraded its eight start-up and support burners to operate on biofuel.

By switching to biofuel from fossil oil, emissions will be reduced by around 960 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The start-up and support burners heat Renova’s four waste heat boilers after annual auditing, or when otherwise needed, for example if the waste is very wet. A support burner is needed for the temperature of the waste heat boilers to reach the required temperature of 850°C for two seconds.

Belgian clean energy company PetroBio carried out the upgrade of the existing combustible oil system for operation with rapeseed methyl ester (RME) oil, a biofuel sourced from sustainable rapeseed oil. Since RME is more aggressive than fossil oil, several parts needed to be replaced and the burners adapted.

“The waste power plant currently consumes about 550 cubic meters of combustible oil per year,” explained Johanna Lindén, CEO of PetroBio. “We are incredibly proud to be part of converting it to biofuel. We delivered our first burners to Renova as early as 1972, and now we are making a joint journey towards a more sustainable future here in Gothenburg.”

Every year, around 550,000 tonnes of waste are burned at Renova’s waste power plants. The generated heat is converted to power a third of Gothenburg’s district heating, making Renova the largest supplier of district heating in Gothenburg.

“We feel very safe with PetroBio's delivery,” added Malin Bruhn, process engineer at Renova. “They supply trouble-free burners, regular service delivery and 24-hour on-call operations. And their solid experience with flame combustion technology and bio-oil makes the transition from fossil to renewable energy painless and safe.”

The transition from fossil oil to bio-oil in the burners is part of Renova’s aim to minimised fossil use and actively contribute to long-term sustainable development.