Metsä Group is looking into the construction of a carbon capture facility

Image: Metsä Group

Metsä Group is currently considering the construction of a carbon capture facility at one of its pulp or bioproduct mills. This exploration is an extension of the work initiated in the spring, where Metsä Group and Fortum collaborated to study the capture of wood-based carbon dioxide and its potential applications in the chemical industry and hydrogen economy.

Pirita Mikkanen, Metsä Group’s vice president of energy, emphasises that wood-based carbon dioxide is a significant byproduct in the forest industry, and there is potential for more efficient utilisation.

“Our collaboration with Fortum has provided valuable experiences and insights into carbon capture. I am confident that we can optimise the use of wood-based carbon dioxide emissions. There are new collaboration opportunities, particularly with the chemical industry.”

Carbon dioxide serves as a raw material in the production of liquid fuels, various chemicals, and plastics. Wood-based carbon dioxide can replace fossil carbon dioxide and plays a crucial role in the production of hydrogen economy products such as methane and methanol.

“Many products within the hydrogen economy are dependent on carbon dioxide. We are supportive of the hydrogen economy in this regard,” Mikkanen asserts.

Metsä Group is now conducting an investigation to determine the most effective way to integrate the carbon capture facility into the company’s mill equipment. The process involves capturing carbon from the recovery boiler’s flue gases by washing the carbon dioxide into a reaction solution, followed by the separation of pure carbon dioxide.

“Metsä Group is currently seeking a solution for processing the mills’ flue gases,” Mikkanen explains.

The carbon capture process is supplied with water and energy from the mill, and the waste heat generated during carbon capture can be utilised in the mill’s processes. Ongoing considerations include the space requirements for the carbon capture facility, storage and liquefaction equipment, and the optimal means of transporting carbon dioxide to the upgrading facility. Safety at work and environmental impacts will be thoroughly examined, even before the official environmental impact assessment.

Surveys conducted by Metsä Group indicate that upgraders are interested in facilities capable of producing substantial volumes of carbon dioxide. The recovery boiler of a pulp or bioproduct mill fulfills this criterion. Metsä Group operates pulp mills in Rauma, Joutseno, and Husum, as well as bioproduct mills in Äänekoski and Kemi.