Expanding Use of Bio-Coal, Torrefied Biomass
The process of biomass torrefaction is an excellent way of concentrating the energy of biomass into a smaller bulk. The simple heat processing of solid biomass allows much easier use of such "bio-coal" in coal-fired boilers and CHP systems.
FRANKFURT (Thomson Financial) - RWE AG. said it is taking a 25 percent stake in the Netherland's Topell, a company which converts biomass into coal pellets....The German utility's renewables unit RWE Innogy is seeking to take stakes in start-ups that develop new renewable technologies, and has to that effect budgeted funds of 50 million euros for 2008.Biomass is a sustainable form of solar energy, with its own built-in storage. By torrefying biomass-including wood, straw, grass, waste, etc--small regional processing plants can provide a high energy, renewable source of heat and power to local, regional, and more distant energy consumers. The more compact form of energy allows for easier and more economical transportation to point of use.
Topell has developed a technology to convert biomass such as roots and grasses to coal pellets that can be co-fired in coal-fired power plants.
The company plans to start operating a site for the commercial production of biomass-based coal pellets in 2009. __Forbes