Industry decarbonisation

Preem and Vattenfall collaborate to produce fossil-free hydrogen for biofuel production

Direct electrification of cars and lorries is an established path towards fossil-free transports. Less well known is the potential to use indirect electrification to further lower the climate impact of liquid biofuels – and positive progress is made within this field. Preem and Vattenfall have entered a partnership with the purpose of using fossil-free hydrogen for large-scale biofuel production.

Workers at a Preem refinery. Photo: Preem

"Increased biofuel production is a cornerstone of Preem's overall and long-term business strategy. In parallel, we are working hard to reduce emissions in production. An investment in fossil-free hydrogen could create opportunities for increased biofuel production while reducing emissions at our refineries," says Peter Abrahamsson, Head of Sustainable Development at Preem.

Next phase of exploring the feasibility for a large scale production facility

Vattenfall and Preem joined forces in 2017 to lower the climate impact of liquid biofuels. Preem’s goal of producing 5 million cubic metres of biofuels by 2030 requires a large-scale investment in sustainable hydrogen production. The study that started in 2020, focusing on electrification, electricity supply and production of hydrogen, finalized in the summer of 2021 and concluded that conditions are excellent for building an electrolysis plant for producing hydrogen gas for biofuel in Lysekil. Producing hydrogen through fossil-free methods can reduce CO2 emissions by at least 80% compared to using fossil materials.

The potential of a first 50 MW plant is now being investigated with the aim of moving on to the next phase during the spring of 2022. Preem's goal of producing about 5 million cubic metres of biofuels by 2030 can reduce transport emissions by up to 12.5 million tonnes of CO2, corresponding to about 20 per cent of Sweden's total emissions. This transition in production will require large-scale supply of hydrogen, and an expansion of one or more electrolysers can play a major role.

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More about Preem

Read more about Swedish refinery and fuel company Preem.

The Preem works in Lysekil, Sweden. Photo: Preem

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