Distributed Pyrolysis Units Could Form Regional Economic Cores
Pyrolysis is the heating of carbonaceous material in the absence of oxygen. When biomass is pyrolysed, the resulting products include bio-char (solid carbon), pyrolysis gases, and pyrolysis liquids (or pyrolysis oil).
Locating pyrolysis units in local areas of high biomass production allows for the early conversion of high-bulk / low-density biomass to a lower-bulk / higher-density pyrolysis oil which is easier to transport + a bio-char which can be used to help fertilise local and regional crops and replenish soil carbon.
Agri-Therm is developing a portable pyrolysis unit that could be transported to local areas of high biomass production, for local and regional conversion, pre-processing, and energy densification (by volume).
Pyrolysis oil can be fired in fuel oil furnaces, or co-fired with coal. It can also be further refined to high value fuels, chemicals, and more.
Some of the densification benefits of pyrolysis can also be obtained by solid biomass compression, torrefaction, and gasification -- although handling pressurised gas is often more difficult than handling liquids.
Local creation of valuable fertiliser and soil supplement is a decided plus for pyrolysis in agricultural regions.