An initial meeting has been held between Exergy’s engineers, Jose Molto and Rocio Roldan, and Dr Yajue Wu and Professor Jim Swithenbank from Sheffield University with the aim to discuss and prepare an initial collaboration between both entities in the area of pyrolysis of biomass.
During the meeting, different critical aspects were discussed in order to accomplish relevant results such as the particle size of the biomass, the type of biomass, residence time, operation mode, etc. as well as the scalability of the process. On the other hand, Professor Swithenbank showed some cases in the past and the success/failure rate of the technologies due to the complex up-scaling and safety factors.
“The development of thermochemical routes, is currently in the demonstration phase like gasification and pyrolysis, is able to bring part of the solutions to shift the use of fossil fuels and move forward a bioeconomy-based society” Says Jose Molto – Sustainable Process Engineer at Exergy Ltd.
Exergy is engaged with the research and the development of engineering for the up-scaling of thermochemical routes to turn biomass into biofuels and energy. This is part of one of the lines within the “Sustainable Process Department” and it has been carried out in some of the Exergy’s projects such as Fuel From Waste (FFW – FP7), where Exergy up-scaled by virtual simulation the process to gasify residues from the olive industry to turn them into liquid and gas fuels (Fischer-Tropsch and synthetic methanation processes); and Agrocycle (H2020), where Exergy is involved in the coordination of the biofuel production and specifically, in charge of the pyrolysis of forestry biomass and the production of energy from microbial fuel cells (MFC).
“There is a rapid and huge increase in the global demand of energy, which is promoted by several factors including the growing in the population worldwide, among others. This will bring different challenges in terms of sustainability and environmental aspects apart from the own supply of energy. The use of lignocellulosic biomass as well as residues like MSW has a big and impressive potential to be the next source of energy and products during the upcoming decades as an alternative for the current fossil sources.” Says Rocio Roldan – Chemical Engineer at Exergy Ltd.
Photo (from right to left): Professor Swithenbank (Sheffield Uni.), Rocio Roldan (Exergy Ltd), Jose Molto (Exergy Ltd) and Dr Yajue Wu (Sheffield Uni)