Short film explains the use of pyrolysis oil as fuel

24 August 2020 – A short film summarizes the most important results of the research and development work in the EU project “Residue2Heat”, which was completed at the end of 2019. It was produced by the Biomass Technology Group (BTG) in the Netherlands. OWI Science for Fuels was technical coordinator in the international project consortium. According to the researchers, the use of fast pyrolysis bio-oil (FPBO) for the production of domestic heating is in principle feasible from a technical, environmental and socio-economic point of view.

FPBO can be used as a substitute for mineral oil-based heating oil. Depending on the raw material base, the use of FPBO is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 77 and 95% compared to fuel oil.

Since FPBO has different chemical-physical properties to fuel oil, the project partners developed a novel domestic burner with a thermal output of 16 kWth to 20 kWth. Under laboratory conditions, the burner operated just as reliably with FPBO as an adapted standard condensing boiler with 34 kWth to 44 kWth.

FPBO can also be produced in small plants with a processing capacity of 20,000 to 40,000 tonnes of biomass per year. Suitable raw materials for production are agricultural and forestry biomass residues, such as wood residues, miscanthus, straw or grass clippings, which are not suitable for food or feed production and do not lead to land use changes. The ash produced as a by-product of the fast pyrolysis process is suitable as a fertilizer in agriculture due to its high mineral content.

The technology is currently used by BTG. Based on the combustion technology developed in the project, the company built the prototype of an FPBO heating system, which is planned to demonstrate the heating of its offices.

The EU research project “Residue2Heat” was funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the funding code no. 654650.