Metsä group and ANDRITZ investigate capturing wood-based CO2 to replace fossil raw materials

Metsä group and technology company ANDRITZ will investigate the possibility of building a carbon capture facility in connection with the bioproduct mill. The work focuses on the capture of 4 million tonnes of CO2 from a mill the size of the Kemi bioproduct mill. The Kemi mill is reportedly the largest wood-processing mill in the northern hemisphere.

“The investigation by ANDRITZ and Metsä group is pioneering work in carbon dioxide capture and the first step towards the production of renewable fuels from wood-based carbon dioxide,” said Klaus Bärnthaler, vice-president, sales and business development, carbon capture, ANDRITZ. “Efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are increasing the demand for renewable fuels, which can be met by the side streams from bioproduct mills.”

The study will determine the optimal size of a recovery system that would be the most energy efficient combined with the bioproduct mill, as well as the cooling and logistical requirements of the system. The goal is to use the electricity, heat and steam generated in the bioproduct mill as efficiently as possible so that no waste heat is generated.

This work follows on from the carbon capture study launched in 2023. Carbon dioxide capture using an amine solution is an existing technology that has been used around the world. However, combining this technology with a pulp or bioproduct mill is progressive.

After the investigation with ANDRITZ, the project will proceed to the pilot phase in Metsä group’s mill area in Rauma, Finland in 2025 (Image: Metsä group)

If carbon dioxide capture proves viable, a new high-volume wood-based raw material will emerge for the forest industry.

“Our goal at Metsä group is to process northern wood into increasingly valuable products. If implemented, carbon dioxide capture would open up opportunities for a new chemical industry in Finland and boost the Finnish hydrogen economy,” added Sari Pajari-Sederholm, Metsä group executive vice-president, strategy.

Metsä group is said to generate about 12 million tonnes of wood-based carbon dioxide annually, which could be used as a raw material for fossil material substitutes as the related technology and markets develop. For example, renewable hydrogen and wood-based carbon dioxide could be used to produce synthetic methane and methanol to be used as raw material in the chemical industry.