Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, we have collected answers to frequently asked questions. If you can’t find an answer to your question please contact us!!

What is bio-oil? 

Bio-oil, also known as biopyrolysis oil, is fuel manufactured via fast pyrolysis that can replace fossil fuels. It is a running liquid with a pH of approximately 2.6 and effective (lower) heating value of roughly 16 to 18 MJ/kg. 

Bio-oil consists of multiple compounds and mainly contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and some nitrogen.

Its most important organic components are liquid lignin derivatives, alcohols, naturally occurring organic acids, and carbonyls.


What does bioeconomy mean?

Bioeconomy means all production that uses, produces, refines, and markets renewable natural resources and consumption of products manufactured from renewable natural resources.


Where can bio-oil be used?

Bio-oil has several applications, the most important of which are currently heat production and refinement into transport fuels. Other significant applications in the future include the use of bio-oil as a raw material in the chemicals industry.


What does fast pyrolysis mean?

Fast pyrolysis technology is used to turn biomass into bio-oil. In the fast thermal process, biomass is heated very quickly (<2 seconds) to a temperature of approximately 500 degrees Celsius, causing it to vaporise.

Biomass is vaporised in an oxygen-free environment, so no combustion occurs. When the vaporised biomass is condensed, bio-oil is formed.


What raw material is used to manufacture bio-oil?

Green Fuel Nordic uses wood-based forest biomass, primarily sourced from forests and mechanical forestry by-products. This means the raw material we use does not compete with resource streams or agricultural areas required by the food industry.


How much raw material does the Green Fuel Nordic bio-oil plant use?

One production line uses approximately 90,000 cubic metres per year.


How much bio-oil does the Green Fuel Nordic bio-oil plant produce?

Our bio-oil plant in Lieksa produces approximately 24,000 tons of bio-oil per year. Converted to heat energy, this is roughly equivalent to the annual heat usage of 5,000 houses.


Why should solid biomass be refined into liquid fuel?

Bio-oil has multiple advantages over solid wood-based fuels or biomasses:

  • The energy density based on effective heating value is significantly larger
    - Reduced logistical costs
    - Less fuel is required
  • Transport and handling are easier and more cost-effective
  • Reduced particulate emissions from burning
  • Fossil fuel boilers require only minor modifications to be suitable for bio-oil
  • Enables utilisation of existing power plant investments
  • Further refinement options are significant compared to solid alternatives such as woodchips and pellets


How does bio-oil help Finland?

The advantages provided by biofuel include:

  • A new refinement path for precious, renewable forest resources
  • Every bio-oil plant creates new industry jobs, often in areas adversely affected by the restructuring of the traditional forest industry
  • The employment effects of the construction phase of a single bio-oil plant are significant
  • The costs of non-renewable and depleting fossil fuels are on a constant rise
  • Bio-oil is a domestic fuel, fossil fuels are imported: positive effect on energy self-sufficiency and trade balance
  • Greenhouse gas reduction and national renewable energy goals
  • The user avoids buying allowances
  • Improved CO2 balance in the area
  • Increases bioenergy business in the area
  • Increases and improves regional technology expertise


Why should fossil fuels be replaced with bio-oil?

Bio-oil is a renewable product that can replace heavy and light fuel oil and gas. On the other hand, fossil resources are depleting and their use as fuel, for example, contributes to climate change.

The cost of fossil fuels has also increased significantly in the long term, and this price development is highly likely to continue.

Bio-oil refined locally from domestic raw material increases Finland’s energy self-sufficiency and has a positive effect on trade balance.

The bio-oil end customer avoids purchasing allowances. In addition, choosing a more environmentally sustainable alternative to fossil-based solutions may also be part of the customer’s responsible activity and thus a tool for brand-building.


Are there bio-oil plants elsewhere?

Operational bio-oil plants are already in commercial use in Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. New projects are active in various countries around the world.


Are chemicals required for bio-oil manufacturing?

No. Refining biomass into bio-oil does not require chemicals.


What is the ownership structure of Green Fuel Nordic Oy?

Green Fuel Nordic Oy is owned by the company directors and staff and a group of private venture capitalists.


Is bio-oil the same as biodiesel?

No. The manufacturing processes of bio-oil and biodiesel are completely different. The applications of the end product also differ. Bio-oil can be refined further into transport fuel.


Is bio-oil a taxable product?

Bio-oil manufactured from wood with the pyrolysis method is not a biofuel subject to energy taxation, because it has not been defined as an intended taxable product in the Energy Taxation Directive and the energy taxation substitution principle is not applied to it.


Is bio-oil harmful to the environment?

Bio-oil is harmful if it enters the environment, but not toxic unlike many other chemicals. Bio-oil is also biodegradable, and its biodegradation rate is considerably higher than diesel’s.

Based on laboratory tests performed on algae and microorganisms, bio-oil does not slow the growth of flora and is not toxic to living organisms.


Is bio-oil harmful to humans?

Bio-oil is considered a corrosive substance and may cause eye and skin irritation. When working with bio-oil, protective equipment is used to prevent direct contact.


Is it expensive to modify existing facilities to accommodate bio-oil?

The modification costs depend on the technology solutions of the existing facility. In general, the costs can be considered very reasonable.


How does a new facility suited for bio-oil differ from a traditional oil-powered facility?

Very little. In practice, the most significant difference comes down to certain material solutions. This mostly applies to the fuel line and related components.


What influences the choice of location for a bio-oil plant?

The primary factor is the availability of raw material. Other important criteria include synergy advantages with local businesses, the area’s will to accommodate the plant, and the availability of talented employees.


What kinds of jobs does a biorefinery offer?

A biorefinery needs employees for receiving and handling raw materials and bio-oil production and storage. The work entails mechanical and electronic maintenance operations, process monitoring, lab work, logistical functions, and many other tasks. You can find our current vacancies in the Career section of our site. .


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