In 2013, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy reached 15% in Europe. To integrate at least 27% of renewable energy consumption in 2030 has been set as EU target (Source: AEBIOM-Statistical-Report-2015).
Biomass is by far the leading renewable energy source with more than 60% in EU. The consumption of biomass for energy has doubled between 2000 and 2013 (105 Mtoe). It should keep progressing and increase by at least 33 Million tons of oil equivalent by 2020 (source: Eurostat).
Potential additional wood energy resources in Switzerland (source: OFEN).
Second grade biomass residues represent a great potential for renewable energies, but its use is limited due to it inhomogeneity and moisture content. Our objective is to develop and market a technology, the TORPLANT torrefaction process, which enables to bring additional, local, low-cost feedstock to the wood-to-energy chain by converting residues to a valuable and stable fuel with enhanced combustion properties. This technology is offered by Granit Technologies and Engineering (GRT) SA, in which GRT GROUP participates with 47%.
The TORPLANT torrefaction process objective is to treat lignocellulosic biomass such as:
Torrefaction is a thermal pre-treatment process that reduces the oxygen content, increases the calorific density and the homogeneity of biomass residues, making possible its use as a solid fuel of high value.
Woody biomass residues are collected and shredded.
After torrefaction, woody biomass is hydrophobic which means the calorific value of the stock will not significantly vary depending on the humidity content of the atmosphere. Hence, low quality feedstock is transformed into a fuel with good storage properties that is well suited for combustion or gasification and also for densification and transport in the form of pellets.
The torrefied product can be used under several forms:
The technology has been developed to respond to energy demands based on the use of local available biomass residues. The profitability of an industrial scale plant is set for an output of 500 kg/h, based on Swiss costs.
Minimum feedstock - 20 000 to 30 000 m3/year (depending on humidity content). Interesting savings are associated to the use of torrefied products
Of course the financial figures can vary depending on specific local parameters. The final financial figures are defined in the feasibility study of the project.