What Torrefaction Does
Torrefaction (roasting at a high temperature in an oxygen free environment) is not new. It has been used to roast coffee beans for over a hundred years. It has taken time, however, to apply this technology to evenly roasting wood chips and ground biomass that is not uniform in size. Densification of the torrefied biomass product into pellets or briquettes for economic transport has also taken time to perfect.
Fibrous Wood Becomes Brittle – Just like roasted coffee beans, wood becomes a dark chocolate brown and brittle. This allows for easy grinding, just like coal, in the coal plant pulverizer prior to being fed to the boiler.
Water Resistant – Properly densified biocoal is water resistant, just like coal, for easy shipping and storage.
Reduction in Harmful Emissions – Combustion of torrefied biomass does not produce the harmful emissions such as mercury and sulfur that happens with burning coal.