Intermediate pyrolysis offers an alternative processing route that is particularly well suited to difficult to handle feedstocks as the material is physically pushed through the reactor, and the residence time and movement can be controlled. Four products are produced with typical proportions from wood: charcoal 33wt.%, aqueous liquid with dissolved organics 37wt.%, gas 20wt.% organic liquid, 10wt.%, all on a dry feed basis.
A unique intermediate pyrolysis process is being developed in EBRI to convert a wide range of types of biomass and wastes into gases, liquids and solids for use in a variety of renewable energy applications for heat and power. The novel and patented technology is known as a Pyroformer ™ in which biomass is processed in a novel twin screw reactor.
The main products are charcoal, which is employed as the heat carrier in the reactor, a liquid and a gas, both of which can be used in engines for heat and power production. The solid's residence time can be varied by controlling the rotation of the screws. The feedstock can be in any form and size ranging from chips, through to pellets and powder. The gas and liquid products from this process can be directly used in CHP engines.
Two scales of process are available at EBRI: a nominal 20kg/h unit for process development and a nominal 100 kg/h pilot plant for demonstration of the technology.
EBRI is currently establishing the operating boundaries and performance data for commercialisation of the Pyroformer™. Research is also being undertaken to integrate this technology with gasification and anaerobic digestion.
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