High Purity (PCS) Solid Biofuel


The PCS process converts plant biomass to a solid high energy density biofuel with typical energy density of 27MJ/Kg (11,600 BTU/lb). The typical proximate analysis is 4% moisture, 48% volatiles, 48% fixed carbon and less than 1% ash. The high purity solid biofuel is made using a hydrothermal process so that wet biomass can be used without drying. A typical use for this material would be in the Steel industry as a Green PCI replacement to reduce the carbon footprint of the steelmaking process while improving the quality of the product.


Advanced Biofuels for Steelmaking


Iron and Steel production is a major source of the world's CO2 emissions. Currently, fossil carbon from coal is used to strip oxygen from iron ores in blast furnaces to make iron metal and carbon dioxide. Since the 1970s, pulverized coal injection (PCI) into the base of the blast furnace has been used to reduce the need for expensive coke, and reduce overall energy costs and CO2 emissions. The process is highly optimized and further reductions in CO2 emissions are unlikely. Significant reductions in fossil CO2 emissions can be achieved if a bio-renewable green carbon source is used instead: reductions in emissions of 25% have been conservatively predicted when green carbon is injected instead of pulverized coal.


Steel production contributes 7% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario; Pulverized coal injection (PCI) into the base of the blast furnace is a significant contributor to these emissions.  For years workers have been trying to find a clean green replacement for coal used in PCI without result. In particular, a biofuel that is suitable to replace coal in the PCI process needs to meet two important parameters. First, the introduction of the biofuel cannot lead to a reduction in the flame front temperature and secondly it cannot contain impurities that would increase the rate of consumption of coke in the blast furnace.  Preliminary testing by Canmet Energy (a Canadian government laboratory) has shown that PCS biofuel resulted in an increase in the rate of burnout (a measure of flame front temperature) and that PCS biofuel contained no ash, so increased consumption of coke was not expected.


Converting Waste problems into Green Energy Solutions.

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