University to use Heyl & Patterson equipment in biocoal research
Heyl & Patterson Inc., a world leader in thermal processing and bulk material handling systems, has announced the sale of an indirect-fired rotary calciner to the University of Minnesota, Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute. The unit will be installed at NRRI’s Coleraine, Minn., facility and will be used to transform wood biomass into torrefied wood, or “biocoal.”
This biocoal will have an energy content of over 10,000 BTUs per pound and have other properties similar to those of coal. This energy-dense end product can be used as a replacement for coal, or co-fired with coal in electric power plants. The transaction was arranged by Torrefy Corp., Heyl & Patterson’s exclusive worldwide sales agent for biomass torrefaction systems. The calciner sold to NRRI will produce approximately 28,800 pounds of biocoal per day.
NRRI will deploy the Heyl & Patterson torrefaction unit, M-E-C Co. drying technology and other components as the key parts of an integrated system of technologies, to facilitate the efficient generation of carbon-neutral electricity on a distributed basis. This project will focus on the cost and thermal effectiveness of the value-added conversion of wood biomass into biocoal.
The biocoal produced at the Coleraine facility will be used to support the university’s research on modern steam-based electricity generation and the categorization of viable fuel options from various biomass sources, including biomass wastes, crop residues and various forest resources. All of this is done with the goal of addressing the specific needs and challenges facing Minnesota’s residents, forestry industry, electric power generators and business community.
Heyl & Patterson, Torrefy Corp. and M-E-C Co. are working with the Coalition for Sustainable Rail, UMD’s Natural Resource Research Institute and other groups to make this project possible.