Through integrated pyrolysis technology, a fluidized bed boiler at a power plant is a potential biorefinery, providing new business potential. Wood-based biomasses are well suited as raw material for bio-oil. This can replace fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other future possibilities include the use of bio-oil as a raw material for different chemical products and transportation fuels.
Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of organic material in an oxygen-free environment. The gas that is produced by the pyrolysis of biomass is condensed to bio-oil, which is an alternative to liquid fossil fuel in e.g. heat and steam generation.
Valmet’s concept integrates the pyrolysis process with an existing boiler. Only a minor addition to existing boiler plant equipment is needed, compared to a stand-alone bio-oil production plant. Another benefit is the excellent energy efficiency of the process. It can utilize by-products that the power plant would not otherwise utilize, e.g., heat in the drying process for biomass and in the generation of electricity and district heating. District heating suppliers are one of the main target groups.
Valmet has delivered the world’s first bio-oil plant on commercial basis. It is located in Joensuu, Finland, and was handed over to Fortum in June 2015. The bio-oil production has been integrated with a CHP boiler and the plant has an annual production capacity of 50.000 tonnes of bio-oil.