Vattenfall, Preem progress with hydrogen biofuel collaboration

By Preem | July 21, 2021

According to a study conducted in the spring, the Preem Lysekil plant is very well suited for an electrolysis plant for hydrogen biofuel production. Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by at least 80 percent for hydrogen that is produced fossil-free instead of with fossil-based raw materials. An initial 50 megawatt plant will now be investigated.

In January, Preem and Vattenfall began a strategic analysis of the role that fossil-free hydrogen from electrolysis, produced with fossil-free electricity, can play in Preem's ability to produce biofuels on a large scale. The results are very promising to be able to increase Preem's production of biofuels in the coming decade.

Work is now continuing to investigate a first 50 MW electrolysis plant at Preem's refinery in Lysekil with the ambition of taking the next step in the spring of 2022.

Preem's goal of producing approximately 5 million cubic meters of biofuels by 2030 can reduce transport emissions by up to 12.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, corresponding to approximately 20 percent of Sweden's total emissions. This production transition requires a large-scale supply of hydrogen, where the establishment of one or more electrolysers can play an important role.

“Preem is in the middle of a very ambitious transition journey and fossil-free hydrogen is an interesting technology that can create opportunities for the increased and sustainable production of biofuels,” says Peter Abrahamsson, head of sustainable development at Preem.

The size of the initial plant is governed by the ability to scale up biofuel production and the ability to extract more power from the electricity grid, which affects schedules and costs. The timing of when a facility can be in place depends on several factors, including how long the environmental assessment process takes.

“It is very promising that fossil-free electricity has the potential to replace fossil raw materials and thereby reduce emissions from Preem's hydrogen production when biofuel production increases. In order to meet Sweden's climate goals, it is crucial to find solutions through partnerships to restructure industrial processes with lower carbon dioxide emissions, it is also completely in line with Vattenfall's goal of enabling a fossil-free life within a generation,”  says Andreas Regnell, Vattenfall's strategy manager.

Facts: Hydrogen linked to fuel production

    •Vattenfall and Preem are investigating the large-scale production of fossil-free hydrogen in Lysekil.

    •Hydrogen is needed in the production of biofuels because the bio-raw material (residual products from the forest or food industry) contains oxygen atoms that need to be removed through processing.

    •Hydrogen is used on a large scale in refineries and has traditionally been produced based on fossil raw materials – mainly natural gas and other hydrocarbons.



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