Story | 09/09/2022 12:47:10 | 4 min Read time

10 most asked questions about UPM Biofuels

From raw materials to blending percentages and sustainability – UPM Commercial Manager Marko Snellman answers ten of your most burning questions on advanced biofuels properties, production, and operations.

Raw materials and the production process

What raw material is used to make UPM’s advanced biofuels?

UPM’s sustainable raw material for biofuels is crude tall oil, which is a residue from pulp production. Being a wood-based residue, the feedstock is outside the scope of food and feed production and efficiently supports circular economy.

How is a wood-based residue a sustainable raw material?

When the raw material comes to the biorefinery as a residue from pulp production, it doesn’t increase wood harvesting or impact land use. Our residue raw material belongs to the most sustainable raw material category in EU’s classification. To sum it up, we use renewable, wood-based residue  to our products, which then decrease emissions when replacing fossil materials.

Material efficiency is a key factor in making advanced biofuels with solutions based on the use of waste and residues. Read more about our sustainable raw material here.

How much do UPM’s biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Our renewable products reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% compared to the fossil alternatives over the life cycle.

What is the UPM Biofuels production process like?

First, the feedstock is pretreated and purified, then hydrotreated at a high temperature and high pressure. The resulting liquid is distilled to separate renewable diesel and renewable naphtha.

Why are UPM’s biofuels called high-quality products?

Firstly, advanced UPM BioVerno diesel has good and flexible blending properties with other fuels. It is compatible with any diesel engine from passenger cars to heavy duty vehicles.

The majority of our customers blend our fuel with other fuel components. Normally, the maximum limit of biodiesel in a blend is 7%. However, renewable UPM BioVerno diesel can be used in any proportion, from low percentages up to 100% unblended drop-in fuel.

In the petrochemical industry, our renewable naphtha can replace fossil naphtha in any petrochemical process. As it goes into the same stream as fossil naphtha, it requires no changes to the manufacturing processes or operations.

In addition to the high-quality products, we provide our customers with high-quality service – access to our operations desk, available 24/7 for questions regarding the product shipments and other operations-related matters.

Regulations and markets

What regulations do UPM’s biofuels comply with?

The biofuel market is very regulated, giving a solid framework for the industry. UPM’s biofuels belong to the most demanding sustainability category, Annex IX part A, of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII).

The key criterion for this category is sustainability, for example, using waste or residue-based feedstock and having little to no impact on land use neither directly nor indirectly. Products eligible for this category are of premium quality and can be classified as advanced biofuels.

Which certifications do UPM’s biofuels have?

It is required by the industry that the whole value chain is certified. We have two of the most recognized certificates for our production and products: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) and Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) certification. This allows our customers to choose the preferred certification.  You can read about the certifications in detail here

Which markets does UPM Biofuels operate in?

Our renewable and sustainable products are used for fuel in the transport industry and as a replacement for fossil-based raw materials in the petrochemical industry. Geographically, our main markets are in Northern and Central Europe.

What is the availability of UPM’s biofuels?

Currently, we have one biorefinery in Lappeenranta, Finland with 130 000 tonnes capacity of advanced biofuels. Due to the legislative requirements, the demand for biofuels is steadily growing. Therefore, we’re evaluating possible investment into increasing our production capacity.

How much do UPM’s biofuels cost?

Typically, the pricing of our renewable products is based on the daily market price of fossil products with an added bio premium.


Learn more about the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery


Text: Sara Gyldén

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