The European countries are extending the use of wood pellets, which have already become the most popular renewable energy source in this region. Burning wood is considered to be an environment-friendly and carbon-neutral fuel. However, there is another kind of fuel, which is of a great potential. This is about torrefied pellets.
Torrefied pellets are to become more popular
A torrefied pellets industry is in its infancy at present. The main obstacle for this sector growth is a lack of investments. Nevertheless, torrefied pellets have a wide range of beneficial characteristics, which will make it possible to replace wood pellets with a still more efficient energy source on condition that an appropriate funding is provided.
Torrefied pellets are more energy efficient
The main advantage of torrefied pellets is an increased bulk density than regular wood pellets do. Torrefied pellets contain double quantity of energy in comparison with the same amount of wood pellets that means that torrefied pellets are as efficient as oil is.
It gives an opportunity to reduce the transportation costs. Since the transport is one of the biggest carbon dioxide emitters in the world, the delivery of torrefied pellets makes energy generation cleaner.
Torrefied pellets do not require special storage conditions
Another benefit of this kind of fuel is that it is to store. For instance, regular wood pellets should be conserved in a dry place. Burning wood becomes unfit for use on condition that it gets wet.
However, it is possible to solve this problem by using torrefied pellets. This kind of biomass fuel is hydrophobic that means that it does not absorb moisture. This makes torrefied pellets easier not only to store, but also to combust.
Do torrefied pellets require special equipment?
One more thing, which facilitates the combustion of torrefied pellets, is that they are quite similar to coal. It means that this kind of biomass fuel does not require any special facility.
For instance, wood pellet combustion demands specially designed cumbersome boilers installed. In this case, many coal-fired power plants are being transformed in order to burn wood pellets, which requires significant investments. Beyond that, regular wood pellets are to reduce the efficiency of energy generation, provided by converted coal-fired power stations.
However, the combustion of torrefied pellets can be conducted by coal-fired power plants, while no additional modification of units are required. What is more, torrefied pellets do not produce any visible smoke and perceptible smell while being combusted.
Torrefied pellets are environment-friendly
As it was mentioned before, torrefied pellets are carbon-neutral. The use of this kind of fuel makes it possible to reduce greenhouse carbon dioxide emission by 90 per cent in comparison with coal. On condition that coal is partially replaced with torrefied pellets, power plants will gain great potential to reduce the pollution of environment.
What is more, torrefied pellets contain significantly less sulfur than fossil fuel do. The ash content of torrefied pellets is also less in comparison with coal, which allows reducing the production of by-products. That is why the use of this new kind of fuel makes the energy generation process much cleaner.
In summary, though the torrefied pellets industry is in its infancy, it is of great potential. The use of this kind of fuel will give an opportunity to reduce the emission of harmful chemical compounds, which leads to the atmosphere pollution. Beyond that, torrefied pellets are easier to store and handle. These benefits of torrefied pellets are to boost growth of this sector.