Waste materials from forests have been used to produce synthesis gas for fuels, new Scandinavian research shows.
Synthesis gas or Syngas is a low form of natural gas which contains 50% of its energy and can be used to make other chemicals and fuels such as methanol.
Researchers at the Energy Technology Centre (ETC) and the Lulea University of Technology in Sweden are using “low-quality forest residues” such as tree stumps, barks and twigs to produce gas that can be used for transport fuels.
Magnus Marklund, the CEO at ETC claims the raw materials can be used directly without having to “pre-treat” it before use. He said: “We chose to take the shortest route and make use of, for example, tree stumps and the tops of trees from the forest and use them as they are in our facility. Primarily, we make use of low-quality forest residues which the wood and paper industry cannot use. People often talk of the need to pre-treat these kinds of raw materials or to use it with charcoal to produce synthesis gas effectively. What we have done is to show how to use forest residues directly – and this is an important aspect of our success.”
He further claimed their synthesis gas has very low levels of hydrocarbons which is good for the production of fuels from gas.