ETI seeks partners for biomass pretreatment project

By Erin Voegele | May 19, 2016

The U.K.-based Energy Technologies Institute recently announced it is seeking partners for a new project that aims to develop technology to remove contaminants from certain biomass feedstocks.

The organization is accepting expressions of interest (EOI) from groups capable of developing and demonstrating a biomass pretreatment system that incorporates biomass chipping, screening, washing and drying. According to the ETI, it intends to procure a semi-commercial-scale technology demonstration project involving pretreatment operations.

Information released on the project explains that biomass feedstocks often contain undesirable contaminants, which can be picked up during harvesting, transport or storage. The pretreatment process should reduce the concentration of these contaminant, delivering downstream operational benefits and value.

Information released by ETI indicates the project will seek to identify costs and benefits of applying feedstock improvement processes to a set of biomass feedstock types. It will also aim to highlight the opportunities and challenges involved in scale-up and deployment of the process.

“The ETI believes it has identified an opportunity to accelerate the demonstration of a biomass and waste wood feedstock improvement process,” said Geraint Evans, ETI bioenergy program manager. “We therefore want to identify and understand both the opportunities and challenges involved in scaling up such improvement processes to commercial deployment. The improvement process should be based on a complete system involving screening, comminution, washing, and drying. It is likely that it will involve commercially viable technologies that have not yet collectively been commercially deployed in the U.K. in a biomass or wood waste feedstock improvement system environment.”

Information released by the ETI notes the primary feedstocks for consideration by the project are wood waste, forestry residues, and purpose-grown feedstocks, such as short-rotation forestry, short-rotation coppice willow, or miscanthus.

Those submitting proposals should be able to explain how their technology will deliver costs savings and performance improvements. They should also be able to show how they would design, supply, install and commission the process.

EOIs must be submitted by May 31. Additional information is available on the ETI website.