BioEnergy Research

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 263–275 | Cite as

Technical and Economic Modeling for the Production of Torrefied Lignocellulosic Biomass for the U.S. Densified Fuel Industry

  • Adrian Pirraglia
  • Ronalds Gonzalez
  • Joseph Denig
  • Daniel Saloni
Article

Abstract

During recent years, a renovated interest in the pre-treatment of biomass through torrefaction has led to several proposals on industrial-scale application of the technology. Torrefaction holds promising characteristics for obtaining a high-energy yield biomass for further processing, including densified biofuels such as pellets and briquettes, at low overall costs, low energy input, and high capacity and availability for the near future, having the capability of displacing coal in power facilities. Despite many efforts in developing the technology at an industrial scale, very few manufacturers and companies are offering torrefied machinery and lignocellulosic torrefied biomass. Furthermore, information about the actual profitability of the business, sensitivity, and costs of torrefied biomass are very scarce and are limited to very focused studies in some areas of the production, but not in the overall supply chain, and manufacturing processes. This study aimed to develop and validate a technical and economic model for the production of lignocellulosic torrefied biomass for its utilization in the solid biofuels industry, with a focus on production and delivered costs for U.S. potential manufacturers. This model also includes analysis of important variables affecting production, such as biomass delivered costs, capital expenditure (CAPEX), and technology availability. Results indicate that the production of torrefied lignocellulosic biomass can be profitable for U.S. manufacturers, subject to a high sensitivity on biomass cost, CAPEX, and technology affordability for large-scale production. Other sensitive facts include carbon credits scenarios, which may influence profitability based on analyses of net present value and internal rate of return for the manufacturing facility.

Keywords

Torrefaction Techno-economics Biomass pre-treatment Densified biofuel Lignocellulosic biomass 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Pirraglia
    • 1
  • Ronalds Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Joseph Denig
    • 1
  • Daniel Saloni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest Biomaterials, College of Natural ResourcesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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