The development of competence in chemical process technology related to the production of bio-based fuels and chemicals is of strategic importance for VTT. The choice of the right catalyst can save tens of millions of euros a year in an industrial process. At the VTT Bioruukki Pilot Centre we have launched a research environment for the development of catalytic processes, which is specifically designed to handle bio-based raw materials.
The research environment consists of parallel hydrotreating reactors, pre-treatment devices for various raw materials and catalysts, as well as analytics needed to monitor the process. The reactor unit is one of the first in a world specifically designed to handle feeds of bio-based raw materials, such as tall oil fractions or plastic pyrolysis oil from recycled plastic.
Hydrogen treatment removes undesirable raw impurities such as sulphur, nitrogen or oxygen. After treatment, they can be used as fuel or a raw material for plastics.
Simultaneous driving of parallel reactors allows testing of various industrial-size catalyst pellets on an accelerated schedule.
"Low-carbon fuels and plastics made from recycled raw materials are a growing trend. The new investment strengthens VTT's strategic position as a pioneer in sustainable business and carbon-neutral technologies, "says VTT’s EVP Jussi Manninen.