IEA Bioenergy’s report Biomass Pre-Treatment for Bioenergy summarizes the efforts of an inter-task project designed to demonstrate how the application of certain biomass pre-treatment technologies could make existing bioenergy supply chains more fuel flexible, more efficient, and more cost-effective.
Over the course of the last decade, several innovative pre-treatment technologies have proven to improve the usability of lower-grade biomass in different fuel conversion technologies. These biomass pre-treatment activities include washing, drying, sieving, leaching, and thermal pre-treatments.
These pre-treatment options could have significant benefits for the biomass industry, including:
- Enabling the use of lower-grade biomass for fuel conversion—broadening the supply of available biomass resources
- Producing fuels with greater volumetric energy density—reducing transportation costs and logistical challenges
- Converting biomass into fuels that are closer in characteristic to fossil fuels—reducing the need for power plants to build new infrastructure and lowering the chance that these fuels could harm the plant’s overall performance.
This report summarize the findings of five case studies that show the added value of biomass pre-treatment for certain resources and end user applications:
- Biomass torrefaction
- Moisture, physical property, ash, and density management as pre-treatment practices in Canadian forest biomass supply chains
- Pre-treatment of municipal solid waste for gasification
- The steam explosion process technology
- Leaching as a biomass pre-treatment method for herbaceous biomass: sugar cane trash and palm oil mill residues
Download the policy summary report here: