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pyrolysis biofuels




Fast pyrolysis is emerging as an important technology in the development of

integrated biorefineries

Potential of pyrolysis
he use of biomass as yields 70% bio-oil and the • The oil production plant Europe, will be financially
a fuel, or to produce process takes only seconds. can generate its own heat supported by the EU and start
heat and / or electricity The (oxygen containing) and/or electricity (no need up is anticipated for 2011.
is rapidly expanding product liquid can be for external energy sources). The company’s fast
but use on an industrial used as such (in boilers pyrolysis technology is simple,
scale is still limited. This is and turbines), be further First large scale biomass compact, and can work with
in large part due to the low upgraded to chemicals, or pyrolysis unit relatively large particle sizes. It
energy, density, structure, used in other processes does not use any inert carrier
moisture and availability (i.e. to produce biofuels). The Netherlands-based gasses within the system,
of biomass. To overcome The interest in bioliquids pyrolysis technology therefore no gas recycling or
this, various pretreatment has grown rapidly in provider BTG started by complex gascleaning system
options are available that recent years, because: building the world’s first are necessary downstream.
will create a more uniform • Liquid fuels can already commercial pyrolysis unit The pyrolysis oil produced
and dense product that is be used to (co-)fire (50 tonnes/day) using empty by Empyro will further prove
cheaper to transport. existing boilers and/or fruit bunch (EFB), a material the applications for heat
Fast pyrolysis is a promising power stations. that is left over from palm oil and/or electricity through
pretreatment technique, • Use in turbines is mills, in Malaysia in 2005. direct firing in boilers and
which is the thermal cracking already possible This success resulted in gas turbines. The longterm
of biomass at temperatures • The biomass the development of a 120 vision is to focus more on the
ranging from 400-600°C conversion process tonne/day installation based biorefinery concept where
in the absence of air. It can be optimized and on clean and demolished pyrolysis oil is the raw material
includes quickly heating continuous,independently wood in the Netherlands, for green chemicals (phenols,
the biomass (by using hot of the actual demand of termed Empyro. acids) and transport fuels. ●
sand), followed by the rapid heat and/or electricity. The project, which is the
For more information:
condensing of the vapours • Any biomass feedstock first large scale commercial Dagmar Zwebe, dagmar.zwebe@btg-
produced. Fast pyrolysis can be used biomass pyrolysis unit in btl.com, www.btg-btl.com

biofuels international april 2010 57