Apr 7 2015
Contracts issued in UK for commercial-scale torrefaction reactors.
Black Mountain Woodfuels has announced that it had raised sale contracts to build its first, TSI Inc designed, commercial-scale torrefaction reactor for Norfolk-based Chase Biomass, who intend to produce high-energy pillows and briquettes, as a drop-in replacement for coal, along with torrefied biocoal pellets for domestic and commercial markets locally. These fuels will carry an energy-density ranging from 21-25 megajoules per kilogram. The first reactor should be operational by November 2015, followed by a further two in 2016.
Speaking from their base near Thetford in Norfolk, Managing Director of Chase Biomass, Mr. Mike Farrow said “We gain a combustible product that offers the consumer an increase in energy per kilogram delivered of about 2kWh. This market advantage is attractive enough to warrant the investment that we and our investment partners intend to make over the next 3-5 years.”
That investment represents more than £4.5million, and for both Black Mountain Woodfuels and TSI it justifies the joint effort given to promoting this technology in the UK.
Richard Edwards, Business Development Director at Black Mountain Woodfuels said “ For us in Wales, it means the creation of at least 40 long-term jobs in the Upper Rhondda Valley; for TSI it means that they get to place this scale of technology before others, and for Chase Biomass it means that their customers get the most-efficient biomass-based fuel currently available on the UK market..”
Torrefaction is a very efficient process of slow-roasting biomass, in an atmosphere with zero oxygen concentrations, to remove all moisture and low energy volatiles to create a combustible product with an increased energy density.
In May of 2013, Black Mountain Woodfuels forged a strategic partnership with TSI Inc., the Seattle-based specialists in dryer systems, finishing lines, and heat energy systems, to work together to design, manufacture and market a range of small-scale, static and mobile torrefaction reactors in the UK. Around $1million has been invested in the development of this patented process.
Mr Andrew Johnson, Vice President of TSI said ““This becomes the launch platform for our technology in Europe and brings engineered fuels into a scale appropriate application. The benefits go far beyond the value of the contract to us and we are proud to be part of this greater endeavour.”