Bioenergy

Chemrec Completes US $20M Funding Round for Biorefinery Technology

Chemrec, a producer of black liquor gasification technology, has completed a US $20 million funding round. The investment was led by Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF), with support from existing investors, Vantage Point Venture Partners and Volvo Technology Transfer.

Swedish company Nykomb AB, which helped develop the Chemrec technology, remains an investor in the company. The investment is to be used to support Chemrec in commercialising its ground-breaking technology. Chemrec’s technology enables pulp & paper mills to become biorefineries, opening up a whole new range of high-value revenue streams and increasing overall profitability.

Typical pulp & paper mills produce thousands of tons a day of a liquid biomass called black liquor. Currently this by-product is burned in steam boilers with low energy efficiency for production of steam and electricity. Chemrec has developed a proprietary gasification technology that enables the conversion of black liquor into renewable motor fuels, biomaterials or electricity.

The global potential of this is equivalent to over 45 billion litres a year of gasoline — 2% of global fuel demand. This would imply an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 100 million tonnes, the company said.

“Our gasification technology is already proven with two plants in operation and we are currently working with leading pulp & paper firms in the US and Sweden to develop the first industrial scale 2nd generation plants,” said, Chemrec CEO Jonas Rudberg. “There is no comparable technology in the market and we have a great opportunity to position Chemrec as the leader in pulp & paper mill based biorefineries.”

According ETF, the technology can easily be integrated with existing pulp & paper facilities and so represents a fast and cost-effective path towards the large-scale production of 2nd generation biofuels.