Producing PolyCarbon Solid Fuels from Agriculture and Forest Biomass Waste

Dale Leier1, Peter Dodge2 and Alexis Mackintosh2.
1New Earth Waste Technologies Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
2PCS Technologies, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Limiting emissions from coal burning facilities is of the highest priority. Alternatives to prematurely shuttering or undertaking extensive modification of power, cement and steel production facilities that burn coal are in demand. Utilizing biomass as a replacement fuel for coal in such facilities requires some type of carbonization and densification in order to be practical. Meanwhile, demand exists for the disposal for waste biomass from agriculture, industrial and municipal sources by means other than by simply burning, burying or spreading over the land.

Biodigestion, torrefaction and pyrolysis each have limited abilities to utilize a variety of biomass feedstocks. Only Hydro-thermal carbonization (HTC) has the ability to produce useful solid fuels from any type of waste biomass without regard to moisture content. New Earth Waste Technologies Inc. partner, PCS Technologies Inc., has advanced the HTC process through the development of a patented catalysts and proprietary processing methods. Labelled as Hydro-Thermal Polymerization (HTP), this enhanced process allows any type of low value waste biomass with moisture content from near 0% to 60% or more to be efficiently and effectively utilized. HTP also improves the speed, safety, quality and control of solid fuel production over pre-existing methods.

The result is a tailored PolyCarbon Solid Fuel suitable as a drop in-replacement for coal in power plants, cement plants and iron smelters. Having an energy content of up to 29 GJ per tonne, polycarbon solid fuel can be mixed with coal to lower the overall carbon intensity of existing coal-burning facilities or completely replace the use of coal altogether.

PCS Technologies, having recently completed field proof-of-commercial scale testing in Korea, is licensing New Earth Waste Technologies, to commercializing HTP in Alberta. Plans to construct a pilot plant, followed by a full scale commercial facility with preparations for initial engineering and design work are now underway.