Hallbar Consulting. Global Expertise Local Biomass Solutions.

How to Make Greener Coal

How to make greener coalContrary to popular misunderstand, ‘green coal’ is not coal at all. It is in fact wood that has been torrefied to resemble, and therefore seamlessly replace, coal. Being that green coal is made from biomass, burning green coal not only doesn’t produce the same harmful gaseous emissions generated by coal, such as mercury, but it is also sustainable and carbon neutral (unlike coal).

Before biomass can become green coal, it must first be torrefied. Torrefaction involves heating biomass, such as branches, foliage and rot-damaged timber, to temperatures of 250 – 300 degrees Celsius in an oxygen-free environment. When heated at these temperatures and without oxygen to enable combustion, moisture in the biomass evaporates and various low-calorific components are driven out. The result of this process is a dry product with a higher energy content that is resistant to biological activity, is hydrophobic (doesn’t absorb water) and can be stored outdoors; it can also be ground down into a powder or compacted into pellets or briquettes for high energy density and efficient distribution.

Torrefied Wood-Chips
Torrefied wood-chips not only have a high energy content, but are easy to process and store, and are both sustainable and carbon neutral.
While the concept of green coal is simple, few facilities around the world are having as much success with actually producing green coal on a commercial scale as the BioEndev torrefaction plant in Umeå, Sweden. As one of the world’s leading torrefaction companies, BioEndev’s new torrefaction plant has a production capacity of 2 tonnes per hour, which is 16,000 tonnes per year.

Not only does this plant produce commercial volumes of green coal, but through research and development, BioEndev have created a system that is not only self-sufficient in heat production (thanks to internal heat generation), but has specialised cooling technologies and a much cheaper reactor design.

With the progress and results that BioEndev has achieved over the years, it is only a matter of time before green coal becomes a widely used feedstock for biomass renewable energy production. This is not only good for the environment, but by creating demand for local biomass, is good for local forestry industries and communities alike.

For more information about torrefaction and green coal, or if you have any questions regarding biomass renewable energy, please contact us.

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