Our focus areas
Our focus areas
The world’s population is growing, but its assets are not growing to match this – instead they are decreasing. That’s why we do what we do; we provide industry and the society with long-term sustainable chemical products and biofuels. The result of our work has a direct impact on our future and in one way or another we are all affected.
Sekab is an active participant in the public debate regarding how we all should work to achieve a fossil-free society. By demonstrating the opportunities of sustainable development in the chemical and biofuel industry, we can take part in and influence the debate, politicians and decision makers. In this way, we can also participate in creating a better world through sustainable solutions.
For us it is only natural to be involved in and help Sweden to become a pioneer in the efforts towards a more sustainable future. Consequently, in 2016 we joined the government initiative Fossil-Free Sweden. We have also adopted the Fossil-Free Swedish Transport Challenge, which means that the domestic transportations we purchase or perform shall be fossil-free by 2025. In addition, we are a partner of the 2030 secretariat, its goal being that Sweden shall have a fossil-independent vehicle fleet by 2030.
Sekab is one of many companies within the Domsjö industrial area. This is an area that comprises the biorefinery in Örnsköldsvik, in which the cluster structure is important for efficiency and development. The cooperation with the other companies in the Domsjö industrial area gives us a broad network within the forest and process industry. Sekab is involved in projects in the area which, besides developing and strengthening the companies, also strengthen the area as a competence centre.
Sekab is also one of the members of the Processum Advocacy Group, where we together find and develop commercially interesting processes and products based on forest raw materials or industrial residual flows. Sekab also collaborates with research institutes, universities, authorities, vehicle manufacturers and other companies in the forest and chemical industry.
Sekab E-Technology AB has developed technology for the fractionation of biomass. This technology enables the conversion of biomass into sugar, lignin and biogas, which in turn are converted into chemical products and fuels that are currently produced by fossil raw materials. Sekab E-Technology AB is involved in a number of projects with other players within Sweden and the EU. An important part of this work is the Biorefinery Demo Plant in Örnsköldsvik, where we conduct advanced research and development.
CelluAPP technology can, for example, be used to produce biofuel from residues from the forest industry. As one of eleven European companies and universities, Sekab has been selected for the international collaboration project Rewofuel. It is the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, which is behind the project, the goal of which is the introduction of many biorefineries across Europe. With the aid of the technology platform CelluApp, we offer companies with some form of cellulose-based biomass the opportunity to refine their residual products. Our research and development company Sekab E-Technology is constantly developing new sustainable technologies and products using cellulose as the raw material.
Sekab’s biorefinery technology for cellulose ethanol, CelluAPP, is available here and now under licence. Today Sekab is conducting feasibility studies together with various players, where we are examining possibilities for collaboration and the implementation of CelluApp. The first step is to see how residual products from, for example, agriculture and forestry can be transformed into more high-quality products with the aid of Sekab’s fractionation technology, which divides cellulose into smaller constituent parts.
Ethanol as a biofuel is traditionally produced from products such as sugar cane, wheat and corn. Produced in a sustainable way, it provides a carbon dioxide reduction of up to 90 per cent. One drawback is that these agricultural products are energy and water-consuming raw materials that cannot be grown everywhere.
However, starting out from cellulose as the raw material for ethanol has two major advantages. Firstly, ethanol made from cellulose provides even lower climate-impacting emissions than traditionally produced bioethanol. Secondly, cellulose is available in such large quantities that the demand does not have to compete with arable land for food production. If, for example, the straw from the wheat is used instead of the ear, no food is sacrificed and the arable land is better utilised.
Cellulose forms the major part of plant cell walls and is thus the most common organic substance in nature.
Today, Sekab’s fractionation technology is applied mainly in ethanol production, but can equally well be used to produce other products. However, ethanol is very versatile and can replace oil as a raw material in a variety of chemical processes.
Our biorefinery technology is a fractionation technology, which means that a raw material is divided up into its constituent parts. Lignocellulose is divided into lignin and cellulose, where the cellulose is then split up into various sugars. The sugar can then be fermented to, for example, ethanol or butanol. It can also be used directly as a raw material in other processes, for example to produce aviation fuel or plastics.
Lignin is a substance that binds the cellulose fibres together. It is energy dense and can be burned to produce electricity, heat and steam, or as a raw material for various chemicals. A third useful product in Sekab’s fractionation process is biogas, which can be refined and used as a propellant or in electricity and heat production.
The fractionation of biomass means dividing it into all its constituent parts.