Dynamotive Demonstrates First Commercial-Scale Bio-Oil Plant

dynamotive fast pyrolysis process

Dynamotive Energy Systems, a company we've mentioned several times in the past (see here and here), announced yesterday that it had hosted a tour of its first (and the world's first) commercial-scale fast-pyrolysis plant in Guelph, Ontario. In attendance were over 75 experts from the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Bioenergy Task 40 and other biofuel organizations. During the visit, company officials demonstrated the first full cycle of bio-oil production from wood chips.

Once fully operational, the pyrolysis plant will consist of 8 fully assembled modules that will process close to 66,000 dry tons of biomass a year (or 200 tons a day) and yield an energy output equivalent to around 130,000 barrels of petroleum. In fast-pyrolysis, biomass is rapidly heated to temperatures of 450 - 600°C in the absence of air, resulting in the production of a heavy pyrolysis oil, dubbed bio-oil, that can then be used in place of conventional fuel sources for a variety of processes.

dynamotive plant
Because of its modular design, the plant will be brought directly to the source of biomass, thus helping to minimize transport-related costs and time (think of it as a large-scale version of the transportable poultry dropping pyrolysis units we mentioned before). Company officials see the bio-oil being sold directly to end-markets or transported more efficiently to central processing facilities. Dynamotive plans on handing over plant operations to Evolution Biofuels (in which it maintains a minority ownership stake), its partner in the venture, 60 days after its opening.

During the announcement, Dynamotive officials mentioned that they were now experimenting with biochar, a promising development that could lead to the mass production of carbon-negative energy sources. We'll be keeping a close eye on this new initiative to see if they can match the same rate of success as they did with bio-oil.

Via ::Biopact: Dynamotive demonstrates fast-pyrolysis plant in the presence of biofuel experts (blog), ::BusinessWire: Global Biofuel Leaders to View Dynamotive’s Biofuel Production Process in Guelph, Ontario (press release)

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