In 2012, ECN once again realised breakthroughs in developing cutting edge technologies for processing biomass. Together with the chain partners, ECN stimulates broad deployment, thus contributing to a more sustainable and affordable global energy system.
TORWASH enables conversion of difficult waste flows into energy
In the Summer of 2012, ECN’s partner Andritz Oy opened a demo plant in the Danish village of Sonder Stenderup. Here torrefaction is used to convert biomass into storable and transportable pellets with a high energy density. In November, the demo plant, which was designed by ECN, was in operation for 100 consecutive hours for the first time. This was an important milestone on the road to commercial application of this pre-processing technology.
The MILENA technology, developed by ECN, enables extraction of energy from biomass at a very high efficiency. In 2012, ECN succeeded for the first time in keeping the MILENA installation in continuous operation for nearly three weeks in a row, combined with the tar removing technology OLGA, which was also developed by ECN. This has clearly proved that the technology has outgrown the laboratory stage. In July 2012, ECN closed a license agreement with Thermax, the Indian manufacturer of incineration installations, for MILENA installations smaller than 16 MW.
In 2012, ECN successfully tested a new and promising technology: TORWASH. This technology is intended for pre-processing ‘difficult’ waste flows that are wet, fibrous or saline to turn them into suitable fuel. ECN is developing TORWASH in collaboration with a water board and producers of purification installations and filtration systems. In the future, TORWASH will be used to convert roadside grass, water plants, reed, leaves and digested manure into handy-sized fuel pellets.