Torrefaction and 'biocoal' R&D and commercial demos/plants
In February 2014, Topell Energy, Essent, Nuon and GDF SUEZ, and ECN successfully completed a large-scale cofiring of torrified pellets at the Amer power plant, Geertruidenberg, Netherlands. See Commercial-scale biomass torrefaction demonstration. In November 2015, Blackwood Technology, Netherlands, acquired the world leading torrefaction technology and the team from Topell Energy.
Torrefaction is also being developed in the US. For example, in May 2012 Vega Biofuels (VB) announced plans to build a new bio-coal manufacturing facility in Georgia, US. Timber waste will be used as the feedstock. Zilkha Biomass Energy LLC and Valmet Corp. signed an agreement in early 2014 to develop steam exploded black pellets which can be used directly in coal-fired power stations. Zilkha is also providing technology to Thermogen in the US.
In Canada, Diacarbon Energy Inc is developing a pilot torrefaction bioreactor with support from the British Columbia Bioenergy Network. Solvay and New Biomass Energy are further developing an industrial-scale torrefaction operation in Quitman, US and aim to triple production to 250,00 tons by end of 2014.