VTT is participating as a sector expert for pulp and paper industry in EU-funded BIOFIT project that will facilitate bioenergy production by retrofitting Europe's industries.
Bioenergy is an essential form of renewable energy, providing an estimated 60% of current renewable energy supply in the EU28. Anno 2018 the production of bioenergy takes on many forms. Spurred by innovation, bioenergy technologies are becoming ever more advanced and diverse, leading to the energy-efficient production of power, heat and cooling and a variety of transport fuels. Retrofitting – which means replacing a part of an existing facility or installation with state-of-the-art equipment – can be a cost-effective solution to expanding bioenergy use in industry. Retrofitting is one of the fast ways to increase Europe's renewable energy share by making the energy production of existing industries more sustainable.
BIOFIT (www.biofit-h2020.eu) is an EU project that aims to facilitate the introduction of bioenergy retrofitting in Europe's industry. The project is coordinated by BTG Biomass Technology Group with the involvement of Patrick Reumerman and John Vos.
The BIOFIT project will – during its 3-year duration - facilitate the introduction of bioenergy retrofitting in five specific industries, namely first-generation biofuels, pulp and paper, fossil refineries, fossil firing power and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants, Retrofitting means often lower capital costs, shorter lead times, faster implementation, less production time losses and lower risks.
Core actions in BIOFIT are highlighting existing bioenergy retrofits and developing ten retrofit case studies in collaboration with industrial partners. In parallel, the broader industry will be engaged and supported through five Industry fora (working groups). John Vos explains: "Via the fora we can show industry the benefits of bioenergy retrofitting, while making sure that views of all those involved are heard, so we warmly invite all relevant stakeholders to participate in BIOFIT Industry fora."
The acceptance of bioenergy in industry and by the general public is also a focus of the project. "In almost every country in Europe the acceptance of bioenergy is subject of debate", according to Patrick Reumerman. "If industry cannot ensure – and demonstrate – sustainable use of biomass, public opinion will turn against bioenergy."
The BIOFIT consortium consists of fourteen partners from eight European countries: Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Finland, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece. The consortium consists of both industrial partners and academic / research partners.