One of the most traditional methods of producing green energy is burning of biomass to generate heat and power. Today’s equivalent is co-firing biomass pellets (made from forest residues, sawdust, wood waste, bark, and other biomass materials) with other fuels in industrial boilers, reducing overall CO2 emissions. Pelleting allows the biomass to be transported and stored easily.
The processing of wood or other biomass into suitable fuel also considers the characteristics of the biomass and the type of combustion system that will be used. Depending upon these factors, the processing line can include equipment for pretreatment, storage, contaminant removal, moisture removal, pelleting, and transport.
There is growing demand for “green” fuel for household and industrial use in Europe and Asia Equilibre plans to build a plant, that will condition and densify Arundo into pellets that are suitable for bulk transport. Equilibre has been approached by an off-take partner company to produce pellets specifically for the Asian/Japanese markets where 10 year supply contracts are being offered. Japan in particular has initiated over 10,000 sustainable energy projects in the aftermath of Fukushima Daichi nuclear disaster.
Three techniques are used to refine Arundo biomass into green coal:
- Torrefaction is a process whereby the biomass is heated without oxygen, breaking its fibrous structure, removing vapours and volatiles, and giving it a coal-like physical property;
- Hydro-thermal Carbonisation (HTC) is torrefaction in a liquid phase and talked place in a pressurised reactor;
- Steam Explosion (SE) is a method whereby the biomass is heated with steam in a pressurised vessel and then blown to atmospheric pressure, breaking the material structure;
- Equilibre has studied the optimal process and has developed a business model based on Steam Explosion (attached);
The Pellet Project expected to be initiated in 2019 for completion in 2021.