We’re back in the early 80s. Sweden’s vital primary industry is still heavily reliant on hard-working wood choppers, felling tree by tree with chainsaw in hand, to feed the never-ending demand of a blossoming manufacturing industry based on papermills, sawmills, housebuilders, and furniture factories, both within and outside of Sweden. On the surface, all looks well. However, there’s something not quite right. The wood choppers are experiencing health problems. They’re being plagued by headaches and tiredness. As well as far, far worse things; blood cancer, also known as leukaemia, is affecting a disproportionately high number* of forestry workers.
This is where Roland Elmäng appears on the scene. He has the exact experience required to solve the problem, having worked both in the oil industry and as a fuel expert for Volvo. Roland recollects how jet fuel was produced during the Second World War through alkylation: a special process involving collecting the vapours produced when refining crude oil. The fuel created was far purer than other fuels, and free of many of the harmful hydrocarbons found in standard petrol.
Research* indicated that these hydrocarbons could be one cause of the forestry workers’ problems.
Could the alkylation process be a solution?