New German Biorefinery in the pipeline

UPM is evaluating the potential for building a biorefinery in the Chemical Park Frankfurt-Höchst in Germany. The biorefinery, combining novel technologies and utilizing sustainable wood raw material in an innovative way, is the outcome of more than five years of extensive technology development.

 

The biorefinery’s annual production capacity would be 150 000 tonnes of bio-monoethylene glycol (bMEG), bio-monopropylene glycol (bMPG) and lignin. It would be based on the use of deciduous hardwoods grown in sustainably managed forests in Central Europe.

The potential uses for the bio-materials that such a facility would produce present exciting opportunities to replace fossil-based materials with renewable alternatives.

  • Bio-monoethylene glycol has application in textiles, plastic bottles and packaging and deicing fluids.
  • Bio-monopropylene glycol is used for example in composites, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and detergents. 
  • Lignin can be used for example in wood resins, plastics or foams and coatings. Recently, UPM Plywood introduced the WISA BioBond gluing solution that replaces fossil-based phenol with lignin in plywood products.

The preliminary commercial and technical planning phase is estimated will take 12 months.

The use of renewable raw materials combined with efficient processes will enable significant reductions in the CO2 footprint compared to fossil products. In addition, wood as a second-generation raw material does not compete with food production in terms of land use.