To investigate the potential of straw as a raw material for producing renewable diesel, Neste Oil and Raisioagro have launched a research project.
It will study whether a logistically effective and efficient, large-scale straw harvesting chain could be created in Finland to make better use of the large quantities of waste straw produced as agricultural residue. Developments in technology and the growing size of today’s farms, for example, together with farmers’ shift to more specialized production, have already improved the potential for greater use of straw. The researchers will look at the conditions straw is best collected, the storability of straw for use as an industrial input year-round, and various quality-related issues. The amount of interest among farmers and contractors in making greater use of straw will also be looked at. The project will be carried out by TTS, a research, development, and training organization.
Microbial oil technology developed by Neste Oil enables straw to be used as a feedstock for producing NExBTL renewable diesel. Pilot-scale microbial oil production trials were started last year. Neste Oil is currently the world’s only biofuel producer capable of producing premium-quality renewable fuel on an industrial scale from more than 10 different feedstocks.