VTT, Neste agreed to establish Power-to-Liquids (e-fuels) demonstration facility at VTT Bioruukki Pilot Centre


Power-to-Liquids technologies are on the verge of widespread commercialization. E-fuels provide a means to increase the pool of carbon-neutral transport fuels beyond biomass-based renewable fuels in order to substitute fossil fuels in internal combustion engines.

The final product is a gasoline suitable for aircraft, ships, and both heavy and light road vehicles.

The Business Finland-funded Veturi E-fuel research project has completed the development of high temperature electrolysis, CO2 capture, and hydrocarbon synthesis technologies, and the combined system is now ready for application.

VTT and Neste have agreed to construct a technological demonstration facility in Espoo, Finland, at the VTT Bioruukki Pilot Centre. First changes to the research infrastructure at VTT Bioruukki have begun. In 2022 and early 2023, electrolysis, CO2 capture, and synthesis units housed in sea containers will be linked to VTT Bioruukki’s research infrastructure. Pilot tests for the E-fuel project are anticipated to conclude in 2023. Establishing the infrastructure for Power-to-Liquids production adds to the strengthening of Neste and VTT’s cooperation in the development of pilot-scale to commercial e-fuel production.

“Neste as the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel refined from waste and residues sees Power-to-Liquids as a possible complementing technology for future sustainable fuel production. We need breakthrough innovations and continued focus on research and technology development in order to provide cost-efficient and value-creating solutions for the future,” says Lars Peter Lindfors, Senior Vice President Innovation at Neste.

CO2 will be captured from flue gas, hydrogen will be produced by extremely efficient high-temperature electrolysis, and fuel will be synthesized using Fischer-Tropsch technology. Finnish project partners Kleener Power Solutions Oy and Carbonreuse Finland Oy as well as Convion Oy and Elcogen Oy provide solutions for CO2 capture and electrolysis, respectively.

VTT will offer the unit and technology for fuel synthesis, while Neste will upgrade the synthetic crude oil into fuel products that meet the standards. Neste anticipates a successful integrated demonstration of technologies and the receipt of at least 300 kilograms of synthetic crude oil for the development of synthetic fuel processing.

Neste is actively developing sustainable e-fuel production technologies and business solutions. As part of its efforts to commercialize the Power-to-X approach for the generation of synthetic e-fuels and e-feedstocks, Neste launched this business platform under its Innovation unit in 2019. These pilot projects provide a forum for concentrated process development and R&D in key technical areas pertinent to the commercialization of Power-to-X, as well as promote the development of Neste’s expertise.

“Substitution of crude oil in transportation requires utilization of all sustainable solutions like renewable fuels, electric vehicles and synthetic fuels (e-Fuels via Power-to-X). Power-to-X is one technology pathway, which has the potential to unlock new raw material pools beyond biomass with innovation to accelerate emission reduction in transportation,” says Dietmar Huber, Vice President Innovation Business Platform Power-to-X at Neste.

Nedim Husomanovic

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