Third FlexSNG Press Release

21 February 2024, Florence, Italy

State-of-the-art Biomass & Waste Gasification – Why the time is now!

Climate change and global warming is more prevalent than ever, with 2023 confirmed as the world’s hottest year on record, bringing with it serve climate events, melting icebergs, extensive wildfires, and drought, in almost every part of the world. The worlds response now is crucial, and that is where biofuels come into play.

At this year’s BIOFOR conference at PaperWeek Canada, held in Montreal, FlexSNG held its second topical workshop: Competitive advantage and risk mitigation for a large-scale biofuel process.

The workshop kicked off with key-note speaker David Longdon representing Sumitomo Foster Wheeler, SFW. David covered a brief history of SFW’s key contributions to date, describe the current activities and aspirations into the future, as well as key collaborations and areas of focus to ensure that “now is the right time!”.

The first session continued with Ilkka Hiltunen, Research Team Leader of the Thermochemical Conversions Research Team at VTT gave us an overview of VTT´s development in biomass gasification and describe the current status of the technology, in the context of the FlexSNG project, that targets co-production of biomethane and biochar via biomass gasification.

We also heard from Erik Rönnqvist, from Creative Optimization about how a flexible approach can be integrated into the value chain with the utilization of decision support systems for planning feedstocks as well as analysing market viability and profitability for investment in the development of SNG and energy production. And from Dr Andrew Steele, Johnson Matthey, about how syngas could be the gateway to sustainable fuels and chemical production.

The second session was dedicated to a lively roundtable discussion panel focusing on ‘De-Risking FlexSNG’ in which our project researchers shared some challenges they have already faced or expect to face during the project or in the future.  

Paul Stuart rightly said “Developing a biofuel process is capital intensive which make small risks look very large and there have been some spectacular failures in the past… so the stakes are high”.

That’s why derisking becomes even more important as technology moves up through the TRL stages. The panel discussion brought forward some interesting questions about different end uses for the talking the technology such as different fuels or use in the metal industry. There was conversation around economies of scale and if a higher pressure could be used to reduce the size of the plant.

All in all, the FlexSNG Second Topical Event was a huge success with 105 viewers online and in person. If you missed the event and interested in hearing the presentations in full, the full recording is available here: FlexSNG Second Topical Workshop At BIOFOR, PaperWeek Canada 2024 — FlexSNG.

FlexSNG is a Research and Innovation Action (RIA) that started on 1 June 2021 and will run for 36 months until 31 May 2024.


Minna Kurkela (Project Coordinator – VTT): minna.kurkela@vtt.fi
Emma Fromant (Communication and Dissemination Manager – ETA): emma.fromant@etaflorence.it 

Project Partners:

Disclaimer:  The content of this FlexSNG Press Release reflects only the authors’ view. The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) & European Commission are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained or presented.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research
and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101022432 and the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ).


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