Topell demo plant Duiven, the Netherlands
To develop and show-case industrial scale torrefaction of biomass, Topell Energy built an industrial scale (7 tons/hr output) demo plant in Duiven in 2010. From 2011 until 2013 the plant has been continuously improved, driving production volume and quality towards the design specifications while incorporating fundamental learning into the installation. In the second half of 2013 and important milestone was reached: the world’s first industrial scale production of torrefied pellets. The plant has been operational until 2014

Co-firing tests at Amer power plant
After the proof of concept of the demo plant in the fall of 2013, a large co-firing test was conducted in a consortium with RWE Essent, Vattenfall Nuon and GDF SUEZ (now Engie). The test took place at the 600 MWe Amer 9 power plant in Geertruidenberg, the Netherlands. In total approximately 2,500 tons of torrefied pellets were co-fired at different co-firing rates. The test proved that torrefied pellets are a superior biofuel compared to regualr wood pellets. Torrefied biomass can replace fossil coal without the need for additional investments as needed for co-firing wood pellets.

The co-firing test was sponsored by the topsector TKI Biobased Economy.

Co-firing tests at Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants
In 2015 and 2016, two co-firing tests with Blackwood pellets were conducted at the Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants of Helen Oy in Helsinki, Finland. During these tests up to 30% of coal was replaced by torrefied pellets, without the need for special biomass infrastructure. The tests proved that the higher calorific value, easier grindabiity and higher durability make Blackwood pellets the ideal coal replacement for existing coal fired power plants.

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