Producing advanced biofuels

Producing advanced biofuels

Renewable UPM BioVerno is made from wood-based tall oil by a hydrotreatment process developed at the UPM Research Centre in Lappeenranta, southeast Finland

UPM is pioneering a transformation of the forest industry, seeking to use wood with optimal efficiency and to maximize the life cycle of wood-based raw materials.

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​UPM biofuels are made with advanced production technology

A residue of chemical pulping process containing natural extractive components of wood.
Crude Tall Oil is purified: salts, impurities, solid particles and water are removed.
Pretreated Crude Tall Oil is fed together with make-up and recycled hydrogen to the reactor where the chemical structure is modified. Reaction water is separated and directed to waste water treatment.
Remaining hydrogen sulfide and uncondensable gases are removed. The remaining liquid is distilled to separate renewable diesel.
High quality advanced biofuel suitable for all diesel engines.
Advanced renewable biocomponent for gasoline or raw material in bioplastics.
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​Tall oil as a raw material

​Crude tall oil is a natural wood extract of mainly softwood origin. This renewable raw material comes from sustainably managed forests, and is extracted as a residue when separating wood fibre for pulp production.

A substantial part of the renewable raw material processed in Lappeenranta comes from UPM pulp mills in Finland, such as the neighbouring UPM Kaukas mill. The raw material requirements for the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery are a minor addition to the overall demand for crude tall oil, representing a new and innovative way of using a residue that is also burned for energy.

Tall oil as a raw material
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​Renewable biofuel comes from wood

​The production process for UPM BioVerno stresses material efficiency and renewability. A natural wood extract of mainly softwood origin, crude tall oil is collected as a residue in pulp production. 

​It should be noted that no separate logging operations are needed for making UPM BioVerno. ​Tall oil is a wholly renewable raw material, and so its use yields substantial environmental benefits compared to the use of fossil fuels.
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​A biorefinery: combining professionals from various sectors

A biorefinery: combining professionals from various sectors
Renewable diesel is made at the world’s first facility based entirely on refining tall oil in Lappeenranta, southeast Finland. Successfully operating this biorefinery has required a varied combination of expertise from the chemical, wood processing and oil refining industries to yield genuinely novel solutions for plant operations.

Thomas Bjorklof
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​Raw material studies

Raw material research

Our raw material research is based on efficient use of various forest industry residues.. Besides tall oil, we are also planning to test other waste and residue-based raw material alternatives that do not compete with food production.

Our innovation culture has won global recognition as our expertise in biomass treatment, processes and bioenergy has taken us to the cutting edge of wood-based product innovation based on the progressive and sustainable solutions favoured by UPM’s Biofore strategy.

UPM devotes some 5-10 per cent of its annual cashflow to research and development, seeking to make more from less in all of our operations.

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