About project


1. To develop an integrated production concept for heat, power and transport fuels utilizing biomass/waste and excess renewable electricity to meet the following performance and production cost targets:

A. In dark winter season, over 85 % thermal conversion efficiency to fuel intermediates, heat and power is achieved using biomass as the only energy source for the process.

B. In solar energy season, the fuel production is doubled (and biomass consumption halved) by using a maximum amount of electrolytic hydrogen. The energy conversion efficiency is > 65 % (biomass + electricity to FT products).

C. In addition to balancing out the seasonal variation in energy supply and demand, the process is capable of managing the energy system fluctuations on an hourly and daily basis.

D. The distributed co-production of heat and FT wax will more than double the revenues of the local producer and introduce a renewable intermediate feedstock to centralized refining plant at a cost of < 80 €/MWh.

2. To develop and validate (to TRL5) the key enabling technologies required for realizing the FLEXCHX process:

A. A novel two-stage fixed-bed gasifier will be developed and tested at the 1 MW scale with the most potential biomass residues and waste-derived feedstocks.

B. Robust and reliable hot gas filtration and catalytic tar removal will be developed and validated with the full gas flow of the 1 MW pilot. This will be demonstrated both under steam reforming and dry reforming conditions, which simulate the two basic (summer/winter) operation modes of the process.

C. A cost-effective and robust final gas cleaning process will be designed to ensure that the final gas meets the purity requirements set by the FT synthesis.

D. FT synthesis operation will be demonstrated under both operation modes (once-through vs. with recycle).

E. The key elements of operational flexibility will be validated: 1) process operated with and without additional feeding of H2 and gas composition in the gasifier is adjusted by CO2 feeding, 2) gasifier/reformer operated with different levels of oxygen purity, 3) synthesis gas boosting with additional H2 and recycling of synthesis off-gases back to the reformer simulated

3. To design and evaluate an optimal introduction of the intermediate hydrocarbon feed (FT wax) from several distributed biomass gasification/electrolysis units to a centralized large-scale refinery in order to meet the target production cost of renewable transport fuels 80-100 €/MWh of drop-in liquid fuel.

4. To produce a techno-economic map of Europe for the specific CHP applications with respect to location, scale and total volume, where implementation of the FLEXCHX technology gives the best economics along the value chain of renewable heating and cooling, taking into account also the social and environmental aspects from a full life cycle analysis (LCA) perspective.

5. To present a road map for follow-on demonstration and industrial deployment taking into consideration regional socio-economic-political landscapes.

FLEXCHX-project is organized in nine work packages. Read more here >

FLEXCHX - the conceptual idea of distributed production of heat, power and bio-FT products combined with centralized refining to high-quality transportation fuels.

Project acronym:



Esa Kurkela, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

EU contribution:

4 489 545 €


March 2018 - February 2021, 3 years

Type of action:

Research and innovation


Developing the next generation technologies of renewable electricity and heating/cooling

FLEXCHX-project is organized in nine work packages. Read more here >

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 763919.