Slide show: Swedish industry representatives and academics at a recent visit to BioEndev Industrial Demonstration Unit for biomass torrefaction being built at Holmsund, Sweden. Partners SP Processum and Bio4Energy organised the visit in connection to a joint seminar. Photos by Bio4Energy.
When operating in full swing, the demonstration unit would turn out two tonnes of torrefied pellets per hour, Nordin told the 54 safety-helmet clad participants sipping coffee from paper cups while being shown a presentation. The next unit to be built, for commercial purposes, would produce 15-20 tonnes per hour and at a time in future yet to be specified, he added.
Nordin did not have to say that torrefaction is much believed in as a method for turning bulky biomass from wood and woody residue into an easy-to-transport-and-store product designed to have ideal qualities as a heating fuel or for being turned into "green" oil, as the researchers call it. Most of the participants already knew since they had participated in the opening of the Umeå pilot facilities a year ago. The very same facilities which operate 24/7, turn out 150 kilogrammes of torrefied materials an hour and which are currently being adapted for upcoming trials of a Bio2Fuels concept, invented by Bio4Energy scientists. This concept and its processes are used to produce liquid biofuels and bio coal with great cost efficiency, Nordin said.
"The effect is double because we make fuel and 'green' coal in one process", Nordin said.
"Here we make fuels from the [synthesis] gas [resulting from the process], instead of making it from the solid material. We save two process steps and cost is reduced as we do not have to purify the gas, nor deal with the ash since there isn’t any", he said;
"We already know that the metallurgical industry wants the 'green' coal".