Torrefaction ambition

Taaleri’s new biocoal production facility in Finland will use NextFuel’s torrefaction technology to create a clean alternative fuel.

Earlier this year, Nordic investment and asset manager Taaleri and energy company Savon Voima announced plans to build a new biocoal production facility in Finland. To produce biocoal at the new plant in Joensuu, a city in North Karelia, Taaleri will license NextFuel’s new torrefaction technology, which makes it possible to produce a clean version of coal in less than 30 minutes using biomass.

Torrefaction is the process of effectively ‘cooking’ or heating renewable raw material so that all the moisture and most of the gasifying components of the material is removed. The fuel can be produced using a variety of abundant biomass raw materials, including forestry residues, elephant grass, bagasse, and other types of fast-growing energy crops that can be grown on marginal land not suitable for food production.

The plant is expected to be operational by next year, with a total annual biocoal production of around 60,000 tons. The energy content is similar to coal and the...

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