Torrefaction Benefits

Commercialization of torrefaction benefits the environment, utility rate payers, and rural communities by replacing coal with clean fuel.

Torrefaction Benefits the EnvironmentTorrefaction benefits

Both public and private organizations are seeking to restore threatened forests through restoration efforts such as thinning, mechanical treatment or prescribed burns. Thinning these forests and removing biomass for densified fuel production will improve forest health, increase tree growth, increase resiliency to fire, insects, and disease; protect existing large old tree structure and watershed function; and enhance habitat for focal species. However, these restoration efforts are costly. And, unfortunately, the slash produced from these operations has little economic value. Prescribed burns and slash burning create large amounts of smoke and essentially “waste” the energy value of the slash.

HM3 Energy’s torrefied biomass production creates a new market for biomass, supporting active forest management.

Torrefaction Benefits the Economy

Because torrefied biomass handles just like coal, existing coal-fired power plants don’t need to make modifications to start co-firing or completely replacing their coal with cleaner torrefied biomass. That means utilities can continue using their existing coal-fired plants instead of building new gas-fired plants. This avoids the unnecessary environmental cost and cost to ratepayers that construction of new plants creates.

And commercialization of torrefaction includes very long-term social, economic and environmental benefits and impacts for rural U.S. timber communities. Strong, steady demand by a utility for torrefied biomass produced by woody biomass within a 50 mile radius of just one timber community would produce 62 sustainable jobs (biomass collection, transport and plant operation and maintenance). Communities that once relied exclusively on the harvesting of large diameter logs for income can now concentrate on forest restoration.

Learn how HM3 Energy’s technology turns biomass such as forest slash and sawmill residue into fuel for coal-fired (and biomass-fired) power plants in this short YouTube video.


HM3 Energy