Wood torrefaction: market prospects and integration with the forest and energy industry

Carl Wilen, Kai Sipilä, Sanna Tuomi, Ilkka Hiltunen, Christian Lindfors, Esa Sipilä, Terttu-Leea Saarenpää, Markku Raiko

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Abstract

The research project "Biocoal - a new energy carrier for saw mills, CHP plants and wood industry integrates" was carried out within the Groove programme of Tekes during the years 2010-2013. The main objective of the project was to enhance the commercialization of integrated wood torrefaction technology into current forest industry operations. Several integration concepts were elaborated together with the participating companies with a focus on sawmills and municipal and industrial CHP plants. The European forest industry constitutes a potential platform for the production of torrefied wood pellets and other bioenergy carriers. VTT, in collaboration with industrial partners, has developed new bioenergy carrier solutions integrated into forest industry operations in sawmills. A new torrefaction process was developed and market analysis was performed, including a road map for demonstrations and market introduction. Some preliminary test work was also carried out in order to assess the possible advantages of the use of torrefied biomass in fixed-bed and fluidised bed gasification applications, bio-oil production and as a potential raw material for new advanced wood products. The primary prerequisite for the torrefied pellet market is the energy plants' need for and interest in using them as fuel. The main users are assumed to be found in the power production sector. Substituting coal by co-firing biomass in large pulverised coal-fired power plants needs significant green electricity incentives, however, or a considerably higher CO2 price in order to be feasible. From the raw-material point of view, the benefits from integrated torrefied pellet production are related to by-product utilization at sawmills or plywood mills, but also to general wood procurement logistics at forest industry plants. In the case where processing residues can be utilized at site, cost savings can be achieved if the alternative option is to transport residues to an external facility. A market analysis of integrated bioenergy carrier production was undertaken at sawmills in Finland. It was concluded, that the market conditions for torrefied pellets, and for solid biomass fuels in general, is challenging due to the unexpected low prices for CO2 (about Euro 5/t CO2) certificates and for coal (about Euro 8/MWh). The results indicated that there needs to be a feed-in tariff or similar support mechanism for torrefied pellets to guarantee a paying capability for coal fired power plants above Euro 35/MWh so as to make the investments viable.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages55
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8140-5
ISBN (Print)978-951-38-8139-9
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology
Number163
ISSN2242-1211

Fingerprint

torrefaction
energy industry
forest industries
sawmills
pellets
coal
markets
bioenergy
market analysis
carbon markets
power plants
biocoal
raw materials
byproduct utilization
processing residues
plant industry
wood industry
tariffs
gasification
fluidized beds

Keywords

  • torrefaction
  • pellets
  • biomass
  • co-firing
  • forest industry
  • integration

Cite this

Wilen, C., Sipilä, K., Tuomi, S., Hiltunen, I., Lindfors, C., Sipilä, E., ... Raiko, M. (2014). Wood torrefaction: market prospects and integration with the forest and energy industry. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Technology, No. 163
Wilen, Carl ; Sipilä, Kai ; Tuomi, Sanna ; Hiltunen, Ilkka ; Lindfors, Christian ; Sipilä, Esa ; Saarenpää, Terttu-Leea ; Raiko, Markku. / Wood torrefaction : market prospects and integration with the forest and energy industry. Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2014. 55 p. (VTT Technology; No. 163).
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Wilen, C, Sipilä, K, Tuomi, S, Hiltunen, I, Lindfors, C, Sipilä, E, Saarenpää, T-L & Raiko, M 2014, Wood torrefaction: market prospects and integration with the forest and energy industry. VTT Technology, no. 163, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo.

Wood torrefaction : market prospects and integration with the forest and energy industry. / Wilen, Carl; Sipilä, Kai; Tuomi, Sanna; Hiltunen, Ilkka; Lindfors, Christian; Sipilä, Esa; Saarenpää, Terttu-Leea; Raiko, Markku.

Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2014. 55 p. (VTT Technology; No. 163).

Research output: Book/ReportReport

TY - BOOK

T1 - Wood torrefaction

T2 - market prospects and integration with the forest and energy industry

AU - Wilen, Carl

AU - Sipilä, Kai

AU - Tuomi, Sanna

AU - Hiltunen, Ilkka

AU - Lindfors, Christian

AU - Sipilä, Esa

AU - Saarenpää, Terttu-Leea

AU - Raiko, Markku

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - The research project "Biocoal - a new energy carrier for saw mills, CHP plants and wood industry integrates" was carried out within the Groove programme of Tekes during the years 2010-2013. The main objective of the project was to enhance the commercialization of integrated wood torrefaction technology into current forest industry operations. Several integration concepts were elaborated together with the participating companies with a focus on sawmills and municipal and industrial CHP plants. The European forest industry constitutes a potential platform for the production of torrefied wood pellets and other bioenergy carriers. VTT, in collaboration with industrial partners, has developed new bioenergy carrier solutions integrated into forest industry operations in sawmills. A new torrefaction process was developed and market analysis was performed, including a road map for demonstrations and market introduction. Some preliminary test work was also carried out in order to assess the possible advantages of the use of torrefied biomass in fixed-bed and fluidised bed gasification applications, bio-oil production and as a potential raw material for new advanced wood products. The primary prerequisite for the torrefied pellet market is the energy plants' need for and interest in using them as fuel. The main users are assumed to be found in the power production sector. Substituting coal by co-firing biomass in large pulverised coal-fired power plants needs significant green electricity incentives, however, or a considerably higher CO2 price in order to be feasible. From the raw-material point of view, the benefits from integrated torrefied pellet production are related to by-product utilization at sawmills or plywood mills, but also to general wood procurement logistics at forest industry plants. In the case where processing residues can be utilized at site, cost savings can be achieved if the alternative option is to transport residues to an external facility. A market analysis of integrated bioenergy carrier production was undertaken at sawmills in Finland. It was concluded, that the market conditions for torrefied pellets, and for solid biomass fuels in general, is challenging due to the unexpected low prices for CO2 (about Euro 5/t CO2) certificates and for coal (about Euro 8/MWh). The results indicated that there needs to be a feed-in tariff or similar support mechanism for torrefied pellets to guarantee a paying capability for coal fired power plants above Euro 35/MWh so as to make the investments viable.

AB - The research project "Biocoal - a new energy carrier for saw mills, CHP plants and wood industry integrates" was carried out within the Groove programme of Tekes during the years 2010-2013. The main objective of the project was to enhance the commercialization of integrated wood torrefaction technology into current forest industry operations. Several integration concepts were elaborated together with the participating companies with a focus on sawmills and municipal and industrial CHP plants. The European forest industry constitutes a potential platform for the production of torrefied wood pellets and other bioenergy carriers. VTT, in collaboration with industrial partners, has developed new bioenergy carrier solutions integrated into forest industry operations in sawmills. A new torrefaction process was developed and market analysis was performed, including a road map for demonstrations and market introduction. Some preliminary test work was also carried out in order to assess the possible advantages of the use of torrefied biomass in fixed-bed and fluidised bed gasification applications, bio-oil production and as a potential raw material for new advanced wood products. The primary prerequisite for the torrefied pellet market is the energy plants' need for and interest in using them as fuel. The main users are assumed to be found in the power production sector. Substituting coal by co-firing biomass in large pulverised coal-fired power plants needs significant green electricity incentives, however, or a considerably higher CO2 price in order to be feasible. From the raw-material point of view, the benefits from integrated torrefied pellet production are related to by-product utilization at sawmills or plywood mills, but also to general wood procurement logistics at forest industry plants. In the case where processing residues can be utilized at site, cost savings can be achieved if the alternative option is to transport residues to an external facility. A market analysis of integrated bioenergy carrier production was undertaken at sawmills in Finland. It was concluded, that the market conditions for torrefied pellets, and for solid biomass fuels in general, is challenging due to the unexpected low prices for CO2 (about Euro 5/t CO2) certificates and for coal (about Euro 8/MWh). The results indicated that there needs to be a feed-in tariff or similar support mechanism for torrefied pellets to guarantee a paying capability for coal fired power plants above Euro 35/MWh so as to make the investments viable.

KW - torrefaction

KW - pellets

KW - biomass

KW - co-firing

KW - forest industry

KW - integration

M3 - Report

SN - 978-951-38-8139-9

T3 - VTT Technology

BT - Wood torrefaction

PB - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

CY - Espoo

ER -

Wilen C, Sipilä K, Tuomi S, Hiltunen I, Lindfors C, Sipilä E et al. Wood torrefaction: market prospects and integration with the forest and energy industry. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2014. 55 p. (VTT Technology; No. 163).