LARAMIE, Wyoming, May 19 ¬ River Basin Energy, Inc., announced it has successfully produced torrefied biomass at its Laramie, Wyoming, pilot facility. With U.S. Department of Energy support provided through the National Energy Technology Laboratory, engineers and scientists at Western Research Institute in Laramie produced a torrefied product from western pine chips.
Torrefaction, which is similar to roasting coffee beans, was used to improve the biomass fuel properties. Among these are grindability, energy density and water resistance. The torrefied wood is less than one percent moisture.
“The product will minimize the up-front costs associated with biomass,” said River Basin Energy CEO Dianne Wyss.
In conjunction with Western Research Institute, River Basin Energy will adapt its 10,000 ton per year coal demonstration plant to produce large quantities of torrefied biomass for commercial testing.
Also with WRI, River Basin Energy, Inc. demonstrated a continuous process for irreversibly drying low-cost low-rank coal to increase its heat content to that of higher-rank coal, thereby reducing green house gas emissions.
The 400-pound-per-hour pilot equipment used to produce the torrefied biomass material was originally developed for the River Basin coal upgrading process.
River Basin Energy, Inc., headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is venture-backed by Emerald Technology Ventures, a leading global clean tech investor.