Pyrolysis Oil – Commercial Markets are a Reality. Did you know that new commercial-scale pyrolysis oil plants have recently come into play? Did you know that customers are buying pyrolysis oil in Sweden, Finland, Netherlands and the US? Did you know that for the first time pyrolysis oil is being shipped in volume by sea? Not only that, dedicated tanks are not required even with the low pH. Pyrolysis oil is being trucked hundreds of kilometres in standard chemical trucks.
Some industrial sized, fast pyrolysis oil plants have been constructed, see Table below.
|Host Organisation||Country||Technology||Capacity kg feed/h||Capacity kg bio-oil/h||Applications||Status||Year|
|Pyrocell||Sweden||BTG-BTL – Rotating cone||5,000||3,250||Fuel||Construction||2020|
|Green Fuel Nordic||Finland||BTG-BTL – Rotating cone||5,000||3,250||Fuel||Construction||2019|
|Twence / EMPYRO||Netherlands||BTG-BTL – Rotating cone||5,000||3,250||Fuel||Operational||2014|
|Fortum – VALMET||Finland||VTT Fluid bed / riser||10,000||Fuel||Operational||2013|
|AE Cote-Nord Bioenergy||Canada||Ensyn Fluid bed / riser||9,000||6,400||Fuel||Construction||2017|
|Red Arrows||Canada||Ensyn Fluid bed / riser||1,667||Fuel||Operational||1996|
|Ensyn||Canada||Ensyn Fluid bed / riser||3,500||Fuel||Operational||20xx|
|Genting||Malaysia||BTG – Rotating cone||2,000||Fuel||Dormant||2005|
|KiOR||USA||Catalytic fast pyrolysis||21,000||Transportation fuel||Dormant||2014|
Pyrolysis oil has successfully made the transition from “an interesting product with low pH and uncertain markets” to an effective, economic solution to replace oil or natural gas with a renewable fuel. There are several operating technologies. Ensyn, with the longest-running commercial plant (Renfrew Canada), ships product to New England in the US where it replaces oil to heat hospitals. BTG-BTL, Netherlands, with the newest operating plant, sells pyrolysis oil to replace natural gas to produce high-pressure steam for a dairy and an international coatings and chemicals company. Fortum replaces HFO (heavy fuel oil) with pyrolysis oil in two of its plants in Finland, sells to a nearby heat-plant customer, and has shipped to a large power plant in Sweden. A Canadian company is about to test self-contained 2 t/h pyrolysis plants that can be strung together to make commercial sized plants.
So, what does that mean to you?
Perhaps you have biomass and are contemplating building a traditional combustion plant to make heat or power, but the economics don’t work. Perhaps you are looking at any option to utilize local biomass. Consider pyrolysis oil. It is renewable, and it can be made from over 100 different feedstocks. It is twice as energy dense as pellets and is transportable, thus it can be used locally, or exported to lucrative markets. Lee Enterprises Consulting offers a range of pyrolysis oil services, including market studies and pre-feasibility studies through to plant construction and commissioning, small or large.
- Best local markets, best offshore markets
- Supply chain analysis
- Assess locations, biomass types, volumes and costs
- Assess local markets and find lucrative markets in the US, Europe or Asia
- Choose technology and recommend appropriate technology provider
- Develop investment economics and business plan, and secure project funding
Engineering, Fabrication, Construction:
- Complete FEED engineering, and customer sanctions project
- Detailed design, procurement and fabrication of the plant modules
- Prepare site infrastructure and obtain local permits in parallel with module fabrication
- Arrange off-take agreements with customers, local and offshore
The authors of this article from Lee Enterprises Consulting are Douglas Bradley and David Edwards:
Douglas Bradley, MBA, President-Climate Change Solutions. Doug wrote the landmark studies;
- “European Bio-Oil Markets 2006” for International Energy Agency-Bioenergy
- “Low-cost, Long Distance Biomass Supply Chains” for IEA Bioenergy
- “Pyrolysis Oil Markets- 7 EU Countries and Japan” for the United Nations.
David Edwards, P.Eng., VP Sales & Marketing, Zeton Inc. Zeton has built most of the world’s operating plants. Zeton experience includes design and fabrication of;
- Biomass to Pyrolysis Plant for Food Additives, Ensyn Technologies, Canada (Red Arrow Products, US), 30 t/d, 1990-92
- Biomass Pyrolysis Liquid Fuels Plant, Ensyn Technologies, Canada, 15 t/d, 1992-93
- Bio-oil Process Plant, using Pyrolysis for BTG, Netherlands; 50 t/d of PEFB, 2003-04.
- Bio-oil Production Plant from 120 t/d waste biomass for BTG, Netherlands, 2014-15.
- Integrated Bio-Refinery, 1.5 t/d biomass feed capacity RTP Pyrolysis Section, for UOP, 2010-11.
- 2 kg/hr Hydropyrolysis Pilot Plant for Gas Technology Institute, GTI, USA 2010.
- 2 kg/hr Pyrolysis and Bio-oil Catalytic Upgrading Pilot Plant for NREL, USA, 2013-14.
50 t/d bio-oil process demonstration plant for BTG-BTL (Netherlands)
At Lee Enterprises we have assembled the top group of alternative and renewable fuels experts worldwide. We have consultants in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and across Europe. In addition to these consultants, we maintain strategic partnerships and working relationships with the top alternative fuels professionals. Besides Bradley and Edwards, who authored this paper, other pyrolysis-oil professionals within Lee Enterprises Consulting include:
Gerald Kutney – Ph.D. Chemistry, Executive Vice President of Lee Enterprises Consulting and Director of Emerging Technologies – Dr. Kutney has two decades of executive experience in pyrolysis technology with global corporations and entrepreneurial enterprises. He maintains a global data base of pyrolysis ventures (including torrefaction, slow and fast pyrolysis, gasification) of one thousand ventures, which estimates their commercial status, and the list of fast pyrolysis firms is approaching one hundred.
Zsuzsa Mayer – Ph.D. Chemical Engineering – Dr. Mayer is an expert on statistical methods for pyrolysis process optimization, product upgrading and quality control, and the analytical testing of pyrolysis oils.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms certainly have experts in biofuels and renewable biofuels like bio ethanol, biodiesel, and renewable diesel, and the more common areas like biomaterials, biomass, biomass power, feedstocks, and biotechnology. In these larger consulting groups, one will also find energy consultants in some specialty area like other biofuels like algae biofuels, aviation/biojet fuels, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, advanced biofuels, biodiesel, renewable diesel, renewable natural gas, renewable and biochemicals, biogas, syngas, biochar, bio coals, biobutanol, pyrolysis oil, producer gas, and wood pellets.
Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.