Nature is inconsistent, so the resulting biomass will not have standardized consistent physical properties: it has leaves, twigs, thorns, sticks and many other external environmental factors.
These physical properties make biomass non-heterogeneous and hard to grind. In addition, it has a high moisture level which can vary during the torrefaction process. In order to create a standardized output, we chose to convert biomass first.
At Torrgas we discovered that if biomass is processed into biocoal (torrefied biomass), it becomes smaller, homogeneous, pulverizable and inert, and therefore way easier to gasify.
Value chain approach
By upgrading raw biomass into a high-energy density torrefied biomass – near the location where it is available – we can unlock resources on a much wider scale. By gasifying the torrefied biomass close or next to where there is a demand for biobased syngas and/or biochar, Torrgas licensees can profit from an optimized value chain, both technologically as well as economically.
Our torrefaction-gasification approach gives a tremendous benefit in savings, not only in logistics and handling of the feedstock but also in gasification capex and opex.
A good analogy is an oil refinery; we do not process crude oil in chemical production but upgrade the heterogeneous crude product into a high-grade fuel, mostly close to the resource, before converting it into usable energy or petrochemicals.