Biomass pre-treatment for bioenergy

IEA Bioenergy is pleased to announce the release of its upcoming report, Biomass Pretreatment for Bioenergy. This report summarises the efforts of an inter-task project designed to demonstrate how the application of certain biomass pre-treatment technologies could make existing bioenergy supply chains more fuel flexible, more efficient, and more cost-effective.  By applying biomass pre-treatment activities such as washing, drying, sieving, leaching, or thermal pre-treatment to lower-grade biomass, industry will be able to expand its resource base and increase the flexibility of various conversion technologies.  These pre-treatment options could have significant benefits for the biomass industry, including:

  • Enabling the use of lower-grade biomass for fuel conversion—broadening the supply of available biomass resources
  • Producing fuels with greater volumetric energy density—reducing transportation costs and logistical challenges
  • Converting biomass into fuels that are closer in characteristic to fossil fuels, which will reduce the need for power plants to build new infrastructure to use the fuels; these fuels will also have a lower impact on the plant’s overall performance.

This report will summarise the findings of five case studies that show the added value of biomass pre-treatment for certain resources and end user applications:

  1. Biomass torrefaction
  2. Moisture, physical property, ash, and density management as pre-treatment practices in Canadian forest biomass supply chains
  3. Pre-treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW) for gasification
  4. The steam explosion process technology
  5. Leaching as a biomass pre-treatment method for herbaceous biomass: sugar cane trash and palm oil mill residues

IEA Bioenergy hosted a webinar on this topic in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Forestry recently. You can view a recording of this webinar here.
More information about this report is available on IEA Bioenergy’s website.

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