Econcern, ECN and Chemfo have signed a contract to build a commercial-scale torrefaction plant that will produce second generation biomass-based pellets.

The three partners bring together extensive expertise and track records in the development and commercialization of biomass technologies. The BO2-technology, developed by the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), produces pellets of so-called torrefied biomass. It is considered a key technology that enables a broad range of biomass streams, such as wood chips and agricultural residues, to be converted in an upgraded sustainable solid fuel.

Current first-generation pellets have a limited energy density, require indoor storage and bring difficulties with pulverization. These issues are all solved with the second-generation BO2pellets, which have a higher energy density, can be stored outside and can be pulverized directly in coal mills.

These BO2pellets can be used for electricity and heat generation in large-scale coal-fired power plants, in biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plants or in domestic pellet boilers and stoves. They also have high potential as a feedstock for gasification-based production of transportation fuels.