Lower Shipping Costs
Torrefied wood pellets have a higher energy density than regular wood pellets. Since torrefied wood contains a high amount of energy per cubic meter, it is more economical to ship than wood pellets. Additionally, torrefied wood pellets are more moisture resistant than regular wood pellets, making them easier to handle and more practical to ship and store.
Reduced Upfront Capital Investment
The integration of torrefied wood into existing coal power plants requires less upfront capital investment by the coal plant operator. Thus, torrefied wood provides existing coal burning utilities the ability to produce clean, green, carbon neutral, renewable energy with reduced upfront cost and no lengthy conversion or start-up time.
Grinds Similar to Coal
Torrefied material grinds similar to coal. It can be ground in many existing facilities, easing its integration into coal facilities. By comparison, wood pellets are difficult to grind, effectively preventing their use in most existing coal plants without the addition of specially designed grinding and handling equipment.
Burns Similar to Coal
Torrefied wood burns similar to coal, making it an easy replacement for coal in power plants originally designed to use only coal. A coal power plant recently tested New Biomass Energy torrefied wood pellets. That plant experienced minimal fouling when co-firing 70% torrefied pellets. However, the same plant experienced severe fouling when co-firing industrial wood pellets in excess of 10%.
Efficient Burn, Close to Rated Capacity
Coal plants are often constrained by the volume of fuel that can cycle through various components of the plant. In general, wood pellets burn less efficiently than coal, which can lead to de-rating the capacity of coal plants. Because torrefied wood has a higher energy density than industrial wood pellets, torrefied wood pellets allow coal plants to operate at closer to their rated capacity. A coal plant recently tested 70% New Biomass torrefied wood pellets and it was able to operate at near maximum capacity.
Low Sulfur, Low Ash
The sulfur content of torrefied wood is significantly less than that of coal. Torrefied wood also has substantially less ash content than coal, producing less ash byproduct when burned.
Meets Base Load Power Needs
Other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar cannot produce power on a consistent, predictable basis, so they cannot be relied upon to meet base-load power needs. Torrefied pellets can be used by utilities to meet their base-load power requirements, making them one of the few forms of renewable energy that can replace coal as a source of base-load power.
Qualifies for Renewable Subsidies
Torrefied wood pellets are a carbon neutral resource and qualify for renewable energy subsidies in many countries.