An extensive consortium project aims to dismantle regulatory barriers to the use of hydrogen and bio-based carbon dioxide

The University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Law is participating as a research partner in a significant co-innovation project with a budget of more than €8 million aimed at promoting the utilisation and commercialisation of hydrogen and bio-based carbon dioxide.

Professor Kai Kokko is the principal investigator for the sub-project carried out in Helsinki, with researcher Emilie Yliheljo contributing to the application process. Funding for the project is provided by Business Finland for two years.

“This is an extensive collaborative project involving companies and research organisations that promotes nationally important expertise,” Kokko says.

The ‘Bio-CCU Creating sustainable value of bio-based CO2’ project comprises eight parallel projects. The overall project is coordinated by the University of Oulu and headed by Professor Riitta Keiski. A consortium of three companies (Fortum, Sumitomo, Chemitec Consulting) and five research organisations (University of Oulu, Tampere University, University of Helsinki, LUT University and Natural Resources Institute Finland) are investigating and developing solutions for CO2 capture and utilisation and green hydrogen production as well as identifying the best relevant business models. In addition, the project is supported by Oulun Energia, StoraEnso, Kiertokaari, P2X Solutions and Global Boiler Works. Aila Maijanen from CLIC Innovation Ltd has been facilitating the project.

The goal is to create up-to-date and forward-looking knowledge and disseminate it for use in larger ecosystems. The Bio-CCU project gives a head start to Finnish companies in commercialising and utilising bio-based carbon dioxide solutions internationally.

“The knowledge and skills to be developed in the project are also new on the international stage. The outcomes of this project will enhance the competitiveness of the businesses,” Kokko adds.

The legal project headed by Kokko is focused on identifying regulatory barriers and opportunities, particularly for sustainable value creation with bio-based carbon dioxide. The project is carried out as part of a work package prepared together with Professor Leena Aarikka-Stenroos (Tampere University) and Professor Risto Soukka (LUT).

Sustainable and circular economy solutions in the bioeconomy have a key role in providing carbon feedstocks to replace fossil fuels without increasing the carbon footprint. Harnessing bio-based carbon dioxide for this purpose can even be considered to have a negative effect on carbon balances. Together with the voluntary emission market, bio-based carbon dioxide provides interesting opportunities for value creation.

Finland has an extensive forest-based industry, biorefineries, bio-power plants and related industrial ecosystems, for which bio-based carbon dioxide is very likely to be a significant tool for value creation in the future. The Bio-CCU project is focused on investigating and developing value chains, value creation and technical solutions that support climate sustainability in the Finnish operating environment.

Further information about the project:

Kai Kokko, Professor of Environmental Law
Phone: +358 50 448 7060