Assessing the Feasibility of Using Microwave Induced Plasma Torrefaction for the Production of an Energy Dense, Carbon Neutral Fuel from Wood Pellets

Lead Participant: Stopford Projects Limited


There is a real need to de-carbonise energy production in the UK and elsewhere in order that Governments meet their obligations set by the Kyoto Protocol and meet renewable energy generation targets. Using sustainable sources of wood as a fuel is one such method of reducing the CO2 emissions associated with energy production. However, wood has a high moisture content, low energy density, has variable combustion properties and there are considerable costs incurred modifying existing power plants for co-firing. As result the energy sector is looking increasingly to torrefaction to produce an energy dense and renewable "bicoal" from wood. Torrefaction is low temperature heating of wood in the absence of oxygen to produce a char-like fuel that, once pelletised, has properties similar to coal. However, the economics of existing torrefaction technology has yet to be proven on an industrial scale and we believe that our microwave induced plasma torrefation (MPT) technology is a more cost effective way to torrefy wood. The overall objective of our project is to develop a prototype MPT demonstration reactor for cost effectively converting wood pellets to biocoal.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Stopford Projects Limited, Chester, United Kingdom £115,686 £ 65,806


Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom


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