Skip to main content
RISE logo

Combining electrification and biofuel for an effective transition

In order to meet the climate goals, an array of fossil fuel products need to be phased out and replaced with renewable ones. But since the availability of these is limited, it is important to use the resources as intelligently as possible. One way is to use processes where electrification and bioenergy work together.

Within the transport sector and industry, biofuels and electrification are often presented as competing alternatives in the transition. On the contrary, they need to be combined in several different ways and can often create synergies. 

– “My view is that you should electrify everything you can in transport and industry, because sustainable bioenergy will be a limited resource, where we will want more than there is,” says Erik Furusjö, researcher at RISE and Head of RISE’s Biorefinery and Renewable Fuels focus area. “On the transport side, despite large battery electrification, there will still be vehicles in need of gas and liquid fuels, for example, in aviation and shipping, which means these biofuels will have to be produced as efficiently as possible.”  

Climate-positive electricity generation

By using biomass in cogeneration plants and combining it with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), renewable, planned, and climate-positive electricity generation can be achieved. If this is done in combination with district heating production, it will be very efficient.

Another approach is to electrify part of the process involved in the manufacture of biofuels and bio-based chemicals. This allows biomass to be utilised more efficiently, so that its use can be extended. One example is to use a process called gasification to convert the biomass and then use electrical energy to increase efficiency. This doubles the amount of product from the same bio-feedstock.

Would you like to discuss matters concerning bioeconomy with us? Fill out the form and we will get in touch.

* Mandatory information By submitting the form, RISE will process your personal data.

We need to conserve the renewable carbon that exists

Long-term and resource-efficient solutions necessary

At present, most biofuels are made from crops such as wheat, maize and rapeseed, as well as from residues from animal slaughter. But significantly more biofuels could be produced from underutilised residues from forestry, such as branches, treetops, bark, and sawdust, and residues from pulp mills. 

– “Since there is no immediate resource shortage and the raw material is not very expensive, it can be cheaper in the short term to burn some for energy in the processes,” says Furusjö. “And since it’s biogenic carbon dioxide, its emissions come at no cost. So, it’s important that we raise the issue and ensure that we get more long-term sustainable solutions with higher resource efficiency. This applies to both existing forestry industries and new emerging biorefineries.”

RISE is involved in several projects in the field, relating to technology development as well as system studies. Several projects are looking at how the forestry residue lignin can be used more efficiently than today. Other projects are focusing on what are known as bio-electro-fuels, along with other ways to increase resource efficiency in biorefineries.

– “We also help individual companies to examine their processes. We encourage organisations to start thinking in the long term right now and to develop processes that make efficient use of the valuable biomass we have,” concludes Erik Furusjö.

Johan M Ahlström

Contact person

Johan M Ahlström


+46 10 228 45 35

Read more about Johan M

Contact Johan M
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

* Mandatory By submitting the form, RISE will process your personal data.