Blackwood is a renewable energy technology company focusing on biomass torrefaction. Our FlashTor® technology offers a cost effective way to enable large scale fossil coal replacement by renewable biomass. The FlashTor® torrefaction technology was proven at industrial scale in the world’s first commercial scale torrefaction plant in Duiven, the Netherlands. Torrefied pellets (or black pellets) we produced in the Duiven plant have been successfully co-fired in European power stations.
Blackwood is using international partnerships to roll-out its leading torrefaction technology. We have partnered with TTCL Public Company Ltd to develop torrefied pellet plants in Asia using renewable biomass feedstocks, such as wood residues and agricultural residues. Furthermore we have also signed a strategic licensing agreement with South African utility Eskom for the SADC region in Southern Africa.
Together with TTCL we are currently developing a first FlashTor® torrefaction plant in Thailand. This plant will serve as a demonstration plant. The plant will produce test volumes of black pellets for coal users such as utilities and industrial customers.
The torrefaction process improves the fuel characteristics of biomass. In order to prove the benefits of torrefied pellets, Blackwood and its predecessor Topell Energy have conducted multiple co-firing tests with utilities. For example the Amer 8 & 9 power stations of RWE Generation in the Netherlands and the Hanasaari & Salmisaari power stations of Helen Oy in Finland have successfully co-fired our Blackwood pellets®.
Altogether our black pellets were successfully used as fossil coal replacement in five European pulverized coal power stations and two CFB boilers. In addition we have extensively tested the burning and milling behavior of torrefied pellets in the RT&D centre of Eskom in Johannesburg. The conclusion of this test program was indeed that black pellets can replace fossil coal in PC power stations using the existing coal infrastructure.
Furthermore biomass supply chain cost studies are showing that black pellets can reduce the cost of co-firing biomass with 15-20%. So this makes black pellets an attractive alternative for wood pellets. Especially for coal users who have not invested in dedicated wood pellet infrastructure yet.
The development of Blackwood’s proprietary FlashTor® torrefaction technology was started by our predecessor Topell Energy in 2008. Since then our team has continued improving and optimizing the technology. The key benefits of the FlashTor® technology are its scalability and its optimal process control. As a result the technology is the ideal choice for industrial scale biomass torrefaction.