For more information please contact Douwe van den Berg.
+31 (0)53 486 1186
Solid & liquid biofuels
Biomass resources can be transformed into convenient biofuels, which can serve the top end of consumer and industrial energy markets.
Pellets and briquettes
Wood pellets produced from sawdust are an increasingly popular fuel for household heating, but are also used for co-combustion in coal-fired power plants. Briquettes are mainly produced for household leisure heating. BTG knows the markets and performs market and feasibility studies for potential pellet producers and energy companies worldwide.
Charcoal and carbonised fuels
Charcoal is mainly used for the barbeque market, for steel production (especially Brazil) and as a household fuel in many developing counties. BTG performs feasibility and market studies for charcoal producers, which have resulted in the establishment of charcoal production units in ao Estonia and Russia. BTG has also developed a technology to produce briquettes from carbonized agro-residues like cotton stalks for household energy.
Charcoal can also be used for co-combustion in power plants, where it can partly replace fossil coal. In a EU financed project named: "Large-scale production of charcoal for use in coal fired power and co-generation plants" (Acronym: PowerGradeCharcoal), BTG has investigated this option in detail and performed a large pilot test in a coal-fired power plant in Poland.
Torrefied biofuels are more ‘crispy’ than untreated biomass, but have lower carbon content than charcoal and other carbonised fuels. It is a promising fuel if full carbonisation is not necessary, while some pre-treatment is still desirable. Torrified biomass can for instance be fed easily in existing coal-fired power plants without expensive adjustments of the feeding system.
Bio-oil and pyrolysis oil
Bio-oils like used frying oil can be used for heat and power for instance in greenhouses. Alternatively it can be used as transport fuel, either directly or after upgrading to biodiesel.
BTG is one of the main pyrolysis oil technology suppliers in the world and frontrunner in developing its applications. Pyrolysis oil can be used for heating and power generation, and in the near future for second-generation transport fuel production. BTG is fully informed on the whole chain from biomass resource, pyrolysis oil production, to the different applications and can advise clients on the best possible options.
Biodiesel and bio-ethanol
Biodiesel is a mixture of methyl esters, obtained from natural renewable sources, such as vegetable oils and fats. The most common raw materials to manufacture biodiesel are rapeseed, sunflower and soybeans, but also waste oils (industry, kitchen’s, etc).
Bio-ethanol is produced from fermentation of sugar by enzymes produced from specific varieties of yeast. To date, the most widely used raw materials for bio-ethanol are sugarcane (Brazil), maize (USA), sugar beet and wheat (European Union).
First generation biofuel processes are useful but limited: there is a threshold above which they cannot produce enough biofuel without threatening food supplies and biodiversity. BTG promotes biodiesel and bio-ethanol that is produced sustainably and favours policies and certification systems that enable companies to guarantee sustainable biofuels production.
Second generation biofuels
Second generation biofuels can help making a larger proportion of biofuels available in a sustainable, affordable way with greater environmental benefits. Second generation biofuels make use of non-food residues like stems, leaves and husks as well as non-food energy crops such as switch grass, fiber, wood chips, etc.
BTG works on various advanced biomass upgrading technologies like supercritical gasification for hydrogen and methanol production, and advanced combinations of pyrolysis and gasification processes that can be integrated with thermal biorefinery processes for second generation transport fuels production. BTG has an excellent overview of the present state and developments in the whole chain from biomass resources to second-generation transport fuels. With this knowledge, BTG performs market studies that support innovative R&D, technology assessments and scenario studies.