The end of May 2010 saw the start-up of a plant in Piteå, northern Sweden, which uses wood to produce engine fuel. The plant utilises a new process developed by a Swedish company to make diesel from so-called tall oil. Large quantities of this oil are obtained as a by-product in the industrial process of turning wood into pulp.
With its commissioning, the plant in Sweden has become the world’s first facility to produce diesel fuel from wood on a large industrial scale. Prior to the plant’s construction, the Swedish subsidiary of the KSB Group had already been involved in preliminary studies. The German pump manufacturer supplied around thirty pumps, in the main standardised chemical pumps from the CPK-N range.
As both the oil and its intermediates have high boiling points and tend to disintegrate and polymerise at the same time, the demands placed on the pumps are very high. The acids and sulphur compounds contained in the oil are highly corrosive and thus add to the requirements to be met by the pumps and their design. So specialists from the Pegnitz factory were called in to select optimum materials for the application.