Trial scheme to turn biomass into 'coal'

Posted on 11 Dec 2017 and read 596 times
Trial scheme to turn biomass into 'coal'The University of Nottingham ( is working with the Energy Research Accelerator and CPL Industries ( to produce a commercial-scale facility to convert biomass into next-generation solid fuels with coal-like properties.

The technology being used to develop the biocoal is known as Hydro-thermal Carbonisation (HTC); using moderate temperatures and high pressures, it mimics the natural process of coal formation, but takes a matter of hours rather than millennia.

Once complete, the HTC facility will be operated by CPL Industries — a manufacturer and distributor of solid fuels that already has products on the market containing biomass materials.

Colin Snape at the University of Nottingham said: “Developing this new HTC facility is very exciting, as this is the first such plant in the UK.

"We will be able to look at how we can convert waste streams into value-added fuel products with many domestic and industrial applications. Also, by using biocoal that has been made from biowaste, we are producing a carbon-neutral fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The facility will be located at CPL’s production site in Immingham, North Lincolnshire, and is scheduled to begin production in the middle of next year.

The Energy Research Accelerator is an Innovate UK-funded initiative involving the Midlands Innovation consortium of universities, plus the British Geological Survey and industrial partners, who are working together to support research and innovation in energy.

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