February 2, 2009

New BioCoal Plant Construction Starts

Energy Invest, the Belgian renewable energy company focused on valorising biomass into energy, announced today the start of a construction of the biomass torrefaction unit that will produce torrefied wood pellets (biocoal) for co-firing with pulverised coal in electricity generation facilities and charcoal for barbecue purposes.
The biomass torrefaction unit will be built in collaboration with Stramproy Green Technology, the Dutch-based engineering contractor and technology owner.
The total investment program launched by 4Energy Invest for the biomass torrefaction unit and a biomass storage platform results in capital expenditures of about 13 Million Euro. 9.3 Million Euro will be provided by the banks and the difference will be funded out of the proceeds that 4Energy Invest raised through its IPO in June 2008. 12 additional direct full time jobs will also be created.


Anonymous said...

Stramproy Green Technology, the Dutch-based engineering contractor and "technology owner".

What technology do they own ?

It all started here: www.techtp.com/recent%20papers/TW%20cofired.htm

Jim Arcate

Anonymous said...

Torrefaction is a kinectically limited process(i.e. the depolymerization of hemi-cellulosis and partially cellulosis and lignine) and not a diffusion(of volatiles and moisture) limited process. Therefore any screw/rotary kiln and even fluidized bed technology will ever have the heat transfer capacity needed for a fast(1-3 minutes) and thus economical and flexible torrefaction process. Not to mention the tar issue!

Smart Juice said...

Wow. That is one of the more intelligent sounding posts I've seen.

Follow up question to the poster. Why do you feel you need a process time of 1 to 3 minutes. Many industrial processes achieve economic viability with much longer process times.

Isn't it really a function of output per dollar of operating cost plus equipment depreciation?

Anonymous said...

There are a few reasons why you need a fast process:

1. If you have long residense times it directly relates to the energy costs(pressure drop, fans etc). These systems loose 10-15% of the biomass energy content in their process for Electricity.
2. If you have long residense times it means that the heat transfer is limited and thus the material will be slowly cooked to only one grade/spec. If you overcome this "heat transfer" hurdle you can make both low and high volatile coal depending on the application of the biocoal(co-firing, blast furnace, gasification, bbq etc. etc.)
3. 1-3 minutes residense time makes 100-200 kt reactor systems possible and thus serious volumes
3. The tar formation in these reactors(kilns,fb) is a hugh problem that is never mentioned

-JW said...

I think what Anonymous is trying to say is that in order to have a an efficient in-field machine you'd need a 1-3 minute residence time for the material.

A large square baler can turn out a 1000 lb. bale every 60 seconds on a properly prepared windrow. You'd need to be able to at least match this and preferably best that rate to have an economically viable machine.

With the heat transfer rates required to do 1000lb./minute, having an in-field machine would probably not be possible.

Lilux said...

Hi All. Interesting discourse. Could any of you direct me to a crash course on the industrial scale application of Bio-coal.

Trying to do research on alternatives to Keresone as a cooking fuel. I keep reading how great it is but I would like to know what the pitfalls of this technology are if trying to do this on a large commercial scale.

The Better BTU said...

Topell and Integro Fuels are the farthest along. Reportedly, the number of inquiries they are getting is large, so they are having to focus on their main business vs. educating the world.

If your objective is a replacement for keresone as a cooking fuel, i would focus on Alterna
(http://torrefication.blogspot.com/2009/05/alterna-another-report-from.html) -- that is their business model and they have two plants up and running and generating revenue.

Let me know what part of the world you are in and perhaps i can offer other suggestions. Pelletizing biomass might be the most cost efficient way to go.

Lilux said...

Thanks a bunch for the links. I am currently in Nigeria. Right now the reliance on Kerosene as a cooking fuel by tens of millions of people is huge.

However, there are constant shortatges (leading to black market and other corruption issues)and the price is rising to the point that many can barely afford it.

Many are going back to charcoal as cheaper substitute. However, this is not sustainable longterm because they use wood. Trees are being cut down at an alarming rate and are not being replanted. Deforestation and soil errosion are already a big problem in many areas.

Anonymous said...

concerning the STRAMPROY-/4energyinvest-process:
is the pelletizing before or after the torrefcation?
thanks for help!

Luigi said...

Trying to do research on alternatives to Kerosene as a cooking fuel.

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Dan said...

Yeah, thanks a bunch for the links. I know many are going back to charcoal as cheaper substitute.

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