Co-Production of Electricity; Heat and Biocoal Pellets from Biomass: A Techno-Economic Comparison with Wood Pelletizing

Berit Erlach
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute for Energy Engineering, Berlin, Germany

Benjamin Wirth
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute for Energy Engineering, Berlin, Germany

George Tsatsaronis
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute for Energy Engineering, Berlin, Germany

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp11057508

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:68, s. 508-515

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is an artificial coalification process which converts raw biomass into a coal-like product; biocoal. Biocoal has a higher energy density than the original biomass and is easier to transport; store and process. Hence; HTC is recently promoted as an upgrading technology; especially for wet biomass. For HTC to become a commercial technology; it is essential to identify applications which offer technical or economic advantages over conventional biomass processes. This paper presents a process design where HTC is integrated with wood-fired combined heat and power production (HTC-CHP); and compares it to standalone HTC (HTC-sep) and to wood pelletizing integrated with CHP (WP-CHP). The respective plant designs are modeled with Aspen Plus and an economic analysis is performed using investment costs from literature. The overall efficiency of electricity; heat and wood or biocoal pellet production is very close in all considered cases. When biodegradable waste is available at zero cost; the production costs of biocoal pellets are similar to those of wood pellets. If wood chips are used as an HTC feedstock; the production costs are 32–38% higher. The average cost of CO2 avoidance is highest for the standalone HTC plant; due to the auxiliary consumption of natural gas and electricity.


Hydrothermal carbonization; biocoal; biomass; wood pellets


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