New £2.2m project aims to make bioenergy cheaper

A new £2.2 million project that aims to remove impurities from biomass and make bioenergy cheaper and more efficient has been launched. A prototype plant, which will pre-treat different forms […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A new £2.2 million project that aims to remove impurities from biomass and make bioenergy cheaper and more efficient has been launched.

A prototype plant, which will pre-treat different forms of biomass, will be built at Widmerpool, Nottinghamshire, led by biomass specialists Forest Fuels, working with Uniper Technologies.

The cleaned feedstocks will then be blended and combustion tested at the University of Sheffield’s pilot scale Advanced Capture Technology Facilities, with support provided by the University’s Energy 2050 Institute.

The University of Leeds will also test the ash produced during combustion testing.

Biomass fuels, including waste wood and forestry residues, often contain contaminants, picked up during harvesting, transport or storage.

The Energy Technologies Institute’s (ETI) Feedstock Improvement Project hopes the pre-treatment process will reduce such concentrations and therefore deliver operational benefits and value.

Geraint Evans, ETI Bioenergy Programme Manager said: “A lot of waste wood currently ends up in landfill sites or is used in incinerators. This project will take waste wood, wash it and blend it to remove impurities to make it as clean as possible in the lowest cost way. By removing such impurities, this will lead to improvements in the efficiency of biomass boilers and the feedstocks used within them.

“We want to show that improving the quality of biomass feedstocks in this way is a viable way of increasing the amount of sustainable sources of bioenergy, obtaining more energy from them and delivering improved greenhouse gas savings.”