About the project
The intensified focus on bio-based economy has revived the interest in forest industry as a very important factor in the achievement of the transition away from an economy based in fossil raw materials. The sustainable use of the natural resources and their ecosystem services is an important constituent of the bioeconomy. The objective of this project has been to give an overall view of the economic values related to the main physical biomass flows through the Swedish forest industry, and to discuss the implication for these value flows at the introduction of large-scale transportation fuel production from forest biomass. Thereby it aims to provide a better understanding for the bioeconomy structure, the values added within it and the options for renewable motor fuel production, by applying a “follow the money” approach.
The approach has been to combine existing information on physical feedstock flows with economic data from available statistics and literature. Through interviews and collection of more detailed statistics, data on production, market prices and value chains were compiled for three selected products: softwood kraft pulp, dissolving grade cellulose and ethanol.
The general conclusion from the project is that biorefining is about finding the optimal combination of feedstock requirements, processing cost, process flexibility, product mix and product properties. Biorefining with integrated production of several products is generally found to be more efficient and with better economic performance than separate production. Integration with interdependence of several processes, however, increases the technical complexity and puts new demands on the businesses.