Skip to main content

SFW's networked R&D drives global decarbonization development

Research and development activities are pivotal in how we contribute to global decarbonization at SFW. We develop new solutions for the generation and storage of energy, the valorization of wastes and residues, and the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the most carbon-intensive industries.

Such an extent of innovation leads us to partner with an ever-growing network of experts from all over the world, and value for society is proven by the numerous public funds supporting our development.

Converting conventional power plants to green production

To enable the progressive decarbonization of energy generation, we relentlessly expand the operability ranges of existing power plants, allowing the generation of more energy while reducing – and eventually eliminating – the need for fossil fuels.

A brilliant example of this work is the EU-funded REBECCA project (, where we demonstrate the best practices to replace fossil fuels with carbon-neutral fuels such as bio-residues and bio-fractions of waste in a full-scale commercial plant. This way residues are no longer a source of contamination and climate-changing pollutants (methane emissions) are turned into valuable resources with true circular economy.

Technologies that turn waste into value

For further valorization of bio-residues and waste, we are improving our gasification technologies to turn residues into valuable biofuels and bio-chemicals to replace petrochemical products. Multiple solutions are being developed with the support of EU funding. In the BiosFera project (with EU funding from Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under GA No.884208) we work with partners such as CERTH, VTT, CARTIF, and industrial partners such as Q8, BioBaseEurope, and GoodFuels to develop the most efficient biofuel production solutions for maritime and aviation transportation.

Unlocking fuel flexibility and sustainable materials production

In the FlexSNG project (with EU funding from Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under GA No.101022432) we extend the collaboration to Canada with our industrial partners Johnson Matthey and Wood to achieve most flexible production of biofuels and bio-chemicals as demands change, e.g. by maximizing the production of biofuels in summer, while  optimizing the production of heat for district heating and biochar for the manufacturing industry in colder seasons. While in the CarbioW project (with EU funding from Horizon Europe green research and innovation under GA No.101084443) we look harder with partners such as Fundacion Tecnalia, Svåheia, Vertoro, and Cementos La Cruz into options to turn waste into usable biofuels for transportation.

Taking a huge leap towards CO2 negative plants with Oxyfuel techology

For the industrial processes that emit most carbon dioxide (CO2), we are refining technologies to capture these CO2 emissions to be stored permanently or utilized in chemicals that replace products from coal, crude oil, and fossil gas. During the last decade, we have technology that allows the full decarbonization of power plants that fire various fossil fuels. Now, with the financial contribution from EU (funding under the Research Fund for Coal and Steel, GA number 101034024, and the expert support of Technical University of Darmstadt, we are close to extending the commercial readiness to industrial and utility plants that fire biomass and waste, turning the plants into effective sinks for CO2 (CO2 negative).

Calcium Looping taking carbon capture to the next level for heat, power, cement and steel industries

In addition to Oxyfuel, we are also taking another carbon capture technology – Calcium Looping (CaL) – to the next level. During the past decade we have helped several pioneers such as the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) to lay down the foundations for the technology by testing it in pilots of SFW design. Today we are allied with these pioneers to bring CaL to full commercial readiness. The CaLby2030 project (with EU funding from the Horizon Europe research and innovation program under GA No. 101075416) provides the opportunity to demonstrate CaL for heat and power plants that fire biomass and waste in collaboration with owners and operators such as Hunosa, Iren and Acciona.

Similarly, CaLby2030 brings the opportunity to prove and quantify the advantages of CaL in decarbonizing the cement as well as the iron and steel industries, represented by Alleima and Celsa. In the EU-funded project HERCCULES (funded by the Horizon Europe research and innovation program under GA No.101096691a) we provide a similar opportunity to utilize CaL for waste-to-energy plants, in collaboration with A2A. The HERCCULES project will also showcase the permanent storage of captured CO2 beneath the Mediterranean seabed.

Getting market-ready through customer collaborations and support from national programs

Ultimately, all projects above aim at scaling up and bringing innovative technologies to market within the coming years. Nonetheless, our main driver is to provide the best integrated solutions bring the highest value to potential customers and society. We make this happen by networking and developing capabilities to integrate third party decarbonization solutions to ours, also adding expertise in industrial digital service solutions. Various digital services have already been provided for several customers like Vantaan Energia and Mälarenergi.

National support from Business Finland1, Poland2, Australia3 and Sweden4 provide the necessary collaboration platforms and ecosystems to make it all possible. In these programs, we help industrial installation such as the waste-to-energy plant in Riihimäki, Finland, the power plant of Lagisza, Poland, and several industrial hubs in Australia to evaluate their best options to decarbonize and improve their renewable heat and power generation.

These new solutions are needed urgently to remain on track with the global decarbonization targets and contain global warming below 1.5°C. However, nothing can be achieved without collaborative and financial support. We at SFW are committed to developing and commercializing our innovative solutions with our customers and partners to power the transition to a decarbonized world.

1 Projects Smart Flex no.1776/31/2018, HYGCEL no. 1709/31/2021 and BioCCU no. 2941/31/2022
2 OPTI AI UNIT – Cleaner Energy
3 HILT-CRC associate partnership agreement
4 FlexGEN, Swedish Energy Agency project no. P2022-00785