Alternative Fuels

The Alternative Fuels group does research mainly within two different fields; replacement of coal by waste-based fuels in the cement industry, and thermal gasification of biomass to produce new fuels. The involved processes are quite different, but the two fields are related in the sense that both apply CO2 neutral fuels for improved process sustainability.


Some waste fuels are mixtures of materials of either fossil or biologic nature, ie the fuels are partly CO2 neutral. This is typical of Refuse Derived Fuels (RDF). Solid Hazardous Waste (SHW) is another example of a partly CO2 neutral fuel. Other alternative fuels are of completely fossil nature, e.g. plastic, or completely biogenic nature, such as wood, animal meal or dried sewage sludge. All these materials are suitable for combustion in cement kilns.

Bio4Fuels. Logo. FME. Logo.

Pure wood materials are preferred as the biomass input to gasification processes. Bio4Fuels is a Norwegian Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME), which was established in 2016. USN is one of the partners. The Centre aims to develop technology for conversion of biomass and different types of organic residues to sustainable fuels and energy. 

Research topics

Research partners and network

  • Agder University College, Norway: gasification
  • BOKU, Austria: gasification
  • HeidelbergCement, Northern Europe: alternative fuels in cement kilns
  • IFE, Norway: FME Bio4Fuels
  • NIBIO, Norway: FME Bio4Fuels
  • NMBU, Norway: FME Bio4Fuels
  • Norcem AS Brevik, Norway: alternative fuels in cement kilns
  • NTNU, Norway: FME Bio4Fuels
  • PFI, Norway: FME Bio4Fuels
  • Renor, Norway: fuel characterization
  • Sintef, Norway: FME Bio4Fuels; alternative fuels in cement kilns
  • Tel-Tek, Norway: alternative fuels in cement kilns

Ongoing research projects

  • BIA project on increased utilization of RDF at the Norcem cement plant in Brevik (with Sintef, Renor, Norsk Gjenvinning, Multivector and Aixergee), project manager: Lars-André Tokheim
  • FME Bio4Fuels (with IFE, Nibio, NMBU, NTNU, PFI, Sintef)

Research group leader

Group members

PhD students

  • Cornelius Agu (gasification)
  • Amila Chandra Kahawalage (alternative fuels in cement kilns)
  • Janitha Bandara (gasification)

PhD dissertations

  • Hiromi Ariyaratne: Utilization of waste-derived biofuels and partly CO2 neutral fuels in cement kilns, PhD, Telemark University College (now USN), 2014

Contact