What in the World is Torrefaction?
Torrefaction is a thermo-chemical treatment (roasting) of biomass at 200 to 320 °C (390 to 600 °F) in the absence of oxygen at atmospheric conditions. Torrefaction produces a solid, dry, brittle, blackened material (i.e., biocoal) and substantial amounts of volatile gasses that can be combusted.
University of Minnesota researchers Vance Morey and Doug Tiffany received a Seed Grant from IREE for their proposal entitled Biomass torrefaction: understanding greenhouse gas emissions and potential financial opportunities. They intend to:
- Identify business configurations for integration of biomass torrefaction systems with existing industrial or community users
- Quantify economic and environmental performance of biomass torrefaction in terms of GHG emissions reductions and rates of return for industrial users such as coal-fired power plants, corn ethanol plants, and communities with district heating.