International workshop on 

Development of torrefaction technologies and
impacts on global bioenergy use and
international bioenergy trade

Friday , 28 January 2011, 13.30 - 18.00

Central European Biomass Conference (CEBC), Stadhalle, Graz, Austria

Task 32:
Biomass combustion and co-firing

Task 40:
Sustainable International Bioenergy trade

Workshop rationale and aim

Torrefaction is an interesting pre-treatment technology for biomass before pelletisation and/or combustion. It is a thermo-chemical process for the upgrading of biomass that is usually run at temperatures ranging from 200 to more than 300°C under the exclusion of oxygen and at ambient pressure.

This workshop gave a comprehensive overview of fundamentals of torrefaction, the main advantages of and the challenges in producing torrefied biomass. Ongoing R&D activities were shown, demonstration plants under construction or already in operation were presented and the latest state-of-science in torrefaction was discussed.

A major focus of the workshop was on logistic aspects of torrefied biomass and the possible impacts on global international bioenergy trade. International biomass trade of e.g. wood pellets, ethanol or biodiesel has been growing strongly in the past decade, but is still relatively small compared to other commodities. While the technical biomass potential would in theory allow for much larger quantities to be utilized, in practice the use is hampered by a geographical mismatch of supply and demand, and associated high logistical costs. Torrefaction is a pre-treatment technology that may help to overcome this barrier as it might enable the use of so-far unutilized biomass potentials, and may thus play a pivotal role for the future growth of bioenergy trade.

This workshop was attended by approx 250 participants from industry, policy makers, NGOs and academia. The event took place as a parallel session within the Central European Biomass Conference 2011 in Graz, Austria.



Lecture / speaker


Welcome address
Martina Ammer, Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Vienna, Austria


Chairman: Jaap Koppejan, IEA Bioenergy Task 32, Enschede, The Netherlands


Task 40 overview of international developments in torrefaction
Chris Kleinschmidt, KEMA, Arnhem, The Netherlands

Paper of the presentation


The ratio behind torrefaction: trade-off between additional investment & energy use vs. logistical & end-use advantages
Michael Wild, EBES AG, Vienna, Austria


Fundamentals and basic principles of torrefaction
Martin Englisch, ÖFI, Vienna, Austria


Pilot-scale biomass torrefaction - an extensive parametric study
Anders Nordin, Umea University, Umea, Sweden


ECN’s torrefaction-based BO2-technology – from pilot to demo
Jaap Kiel, ECN, Petten, The Netherlands


Presentation of the Torrbed process
Robin Post van der Burg, Topell, The Hague, The Netherlands


Presentation of the Torr Coal process
Jan Brouwers, Torr Coal, Sittard, The Netherlands


Presentation of the ACB process
Klaus Trattner, Andritz AG, Graz, Austria


Coffee break


Regional/global biomass potentials that are currently unutilized and that may be accessed through torrefaction
Hubert Röder, Pöyry, Freising, Germany


Possibilities and bottlenecks for long-distance transport and storage of torrefied material
Ger Ostermeijer, Peterson Control Union Group, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Case study: exports of torrefied and non-torrefied biomass from a Latin American country to Rotterdam Comparison of costs and GHG emissions
Andre Faaij, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands


The technical aspects of the firing and co-firing of torrefied biomass in large pulverised fuel-fired boilers.
William Livingston, Doosan Babcock Energy Limited, Renfrew, UK


Chairman: Martin Junginger, IEA Bioenergy Task 40, Utrecht, The Netherlands