Co-Location of Torrefaction, Power, Biofuel Plants Reduces Costs
by Chris Hanson (Ethanol Producer Magazine) Douglas Tiffany, assistant extension professor at the University of Minnesota, discussed the economics of co-locating torrefaction, ethanol and coal power plants at the University of North Dakota on Nov. 6.
“What we wanted to get an idea of was what would be the rates of return on equity for torrefaction plants and how that use of biocoal could help coal-fired power plants comply with new regulations that are hanging over their head at this time,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany’s economic model first portrayed smaller coal-fired power plants ranging from 150 to 500 megawatts, and co-located them with both a torrefaction and ethanol facility. By using a 10 percent blend of biocoal, a power plant could see an 8.5 percent reduction of greenhouse gases in terms of grams per megajoule. Greater blends demonstrated even larger reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For instance, a 30 percent blend estimated a 25.6 percent reduction of GHG emissions. He also estimated a torrefaction plant that process 150,000 tons of corn stover or woody biomass per year could supply 42 percent of the needed process heat to a co-located ethanol plant. READ MORE