Pilot plants

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Several pilot plants are constructed all over the globe. A list of pilot plants is given below (under construction):

Host Organisation Country Technology Capacity kg feed/h Capacity kg bio-oil/h Applications Status
ABRITech Canada Auger 70-700 Fuel Operational
Agri-Therm/ University of Western Ontario Canada Fluid bed 420 Fuel Upgrade
Biomass Engineering Ltd. UK Fluid bed 250 Fuel and products Construction
BTG Netherlands Rotating cone 200 Fuel and chemicals Operational
Ensyn Several Canada & USA Circulating fluidised bed 3-3100 Fuel and chemicals Operational
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Germany Ablative 250 Fuel Commissioning
GTI USA Hydropyrolysis 50 Transportation fuel -
Iowa State University USA Fluidized bed 10 Fractionated oils for fuels and products Operational
KIT Germany Twin auger 1000 Tranportation fuel Commisioning
Metso Finland Fluid bed 300 Fuel Operational
Mississippi State University USA Auger 200 150 Fuel Construction
National Renewable Energy Laboratory USA Fluid bed 12 10 Fuels and chemicals Operational
Pytec Germany Ablative 250 Fuel Dormant
Red arrow USA Circulating 125-1250 Food products and fuel Operational
Ensyn several Fluidised bed
Renewable oil International LLC USA Auger/ moving bed 105 Fuel Operational
RTI International USA Catalytic fast pyrolysis 40 Transportation fuel Construction
UDT Chile Fluid bed 15 Fuel and chemicals Operational
UOP USA Circulating fluidised bed 40 Transportation fuel Dormant
University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei China Fluid bed 120 Fuel Operational
Virginia Tech USA Fluid bed 250 Fuel Operational
VTT Finland Fluidised bed 20 Fuel Operational

BTG Pilot plant

In 1998, BTG has built a pilot plant applying rotating cone technology. Biomass particles are fed near the bottom of the pyrolysis reactor ("rotating cone") together with an excess flow of hot heat carrier material such as sand, where it is being pyrolysed. The produced vapours pass through several cyclones (not shown) before entering the condenser, in which the vapours are quenched by re-circulated oil. The pyrolysis reactor is integrated in a circulating sand system composed of a riser, a fluidized bed char combustor, the pyrolysis reactor, and a down-comer. In this concept, char is burned with air to provide the heat required for the pyrolysis process; the plant is self sustaining. Oil is the main product; non-condensable pyrolysis gases are flared-off. The pilot plant has a input capacity of up to 200 kg/hr.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


A successful attempt to scale up fast pyrolysis technology is by the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (FZK), now Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), who designed a twin screw mixer reactor (similar as LR coking-ref). Just like in BTG’s rotating cone technology (discussed above), heat transfer to the biomass particles takes place by intimate contact with a heat carrier, with no need for an inert carrier gas. The pyrolysis unit is proruing liquids for a further gasification into synfuels. The bioliq® pilot plant at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is running successfully along the complete process chain. All stages of the process have now been interconnected: Flash pyrolysis, high-pressure entrained flow gasification, hot gas cleaning, and synthesis.