Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Next Coal is … Bio-Coal

2014 Will be the Year Bio-Coal Takes Off

There is great demand for bio-coal pellets (pictured above) and briquettes. 

Global demand for bio-coal--a carbon-neutral, drop-in coal substitute made from renewable biomass--is increasing and is conservatively expected to reach 70 million Metric Tons per year by the year 2020. Accent on the word conservatively, as the last paragraph of this article makes clear.

But several factors--particularly, the failure of technology providers to develop totally integrated production systems with bankable guarantees--have delayed development of bio-coal. 

Until now, that is. Foreign Confidential has learned that at least one large company is ready to offer just such a system. 

In addition to integrating the drying, torrefaction (roasting-like) and densification (briquette-making and pelleting) processes, the system is feedstock flexible, meaning, it is capable of converting many different kinds of renewable biomass--from logging residues to agricultural and agribusiness wastes--into a clean, green fuel that can be transported, stored, ground up, pulverized and burned in coal-fired power plants just like the fossil fuel, in firing (100% coal replacement) or co-firing applications.

Should China decide to replace just 10% of the coal the country consumes to produce electricity with bio-coal--a 90/10 mix is a conservative co-firing scenario--China alone will need well over 100 million Metric Tons per year of bio-coal, much of which will have to be imported.