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Renewable and sustainable heating oil

Convert solid biomaterials to liquid biofuels using fast pyrolysis


​Solid biomaterials may be converted with high efficiency to liquid biofuels using fast pyrolysis. The advantage of the VTT technology is that it is well suited for integration into existing power plants. The product liquid may be transported to existing, modified oil or gas boilers to replace fossil fuels.

For Fortum Power and Heat Oy VTT helped to develop the world’s first integrated (pyrolysis) bio oil production plant. Our industrial partners were able to successfully develop the process from the research stage to demonstration scale.

“VTT’s role in our research consortium has been crucial. Their long experience and world-class competence in fast pyrolysis has enabled a fast track from research to demonstration” says Jukka Heiskanen Head of R&D, Heat Division
Fortum Power and Heat Oy.

Scaling-up of fast pyrolysis

The competence builds on a thorough understanding of the liquid product, the process characteristics, and their role in scaling-up work. We have participated in projects, where a total of four fast pyrolysis pilot plants have been operated. The most recent is the pilot of Valmet, which was built for their research centre.

We can evaluate the suitability of various biomasses for the production of renewable heating oil. We can produce samples of your material for further analysis and testing. We can also carry out preliminary techo-economic evaluations concerning the performance of such systems.

Experienced personnel using unique facilities

Our strength is the critical mass of experts representing development (experimental and modellig), analytics, and technical services. We also operate a unique fast pyrolysis pilot plant, which may be used in scaling-up processes.
The fast pyrolysis group has been part of an IEA pyrolysis network for several years. We have been working for manufacturing, utility, and forest product industries. Industries who have biomass residues at their disposal, should evaluate the potential of fast pyrolysis for fuels and chemicals.

Sustainable and renewable fuel oil, transportation fuels, aromatics (including phenols) and other biochemicals from biomass.




​Integrated fast pyrolysis bio oil production plant

Customer: Fortum Power and Heat Oy

Challenge: Create the world’s first integrated bio oil production plant & demonstrate the viability of bio oil as a replacement for fossil fuels in heat production

Solution: VTT’s patented process integrates a fluidized-bed boiler with pyrolysis. Produced in this way, bio-oil is more cost-efficient than when produced in a separate pyrolysis process

Key benefits:

  • A short timeline from research to demonstration
  • Replacement of fossil fuel in the generation of heat and power
  • Efficient use of forestry waste streams