Forest landowners may soon have new options for converting woodland debris into renewable energy if mobile pyrolysis technology lives up to its promise.
This emerging technology uses high temperatures to convert woody debris from forest harvests into oil, char and syngas, and can be used on site. The public will have a chance to see this conversion in action at a Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) demonstration of mobile pyrolysis technology on October 22 and 23 in Cle Elum.
The mobile pyrolysis unit will demonstrate the conversion of woody biomass into bio-oil, bio-char, and syngas. The oil can be used for heating and can also be upgraded to transportation fuel. There are several large research projects in the country focusing on creating biofuels from woody biomass. The char can be used for charcoal briquettes and to increase water- and nutrient-holding capacity in soil. Syngas can be combusted to produce thermal energy or electricity. During the demonstration, syngas will be combusted to heat the pyrolysis reactor.
“Pyrolysis is an emerging technology that has potential to convert woody biomass into renewable energy,” said Chuck Hersey, a DNR forest health specialist. “This demonstration will also show how the units can be located close to low-grade wood sources and moved, once the biomass in a particular area has been consumed.”
The demonstration is open to the public; however, registration is required. Register early, as space is limited. There is no cost to attend. To register, email email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>.
What: Using a mobile pyrolysis unit, DNR will demonstrate the conversion of woody biomass into bio-oil, bio-char, and syngas. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process where organic material is heated in the absence of oxygen, and the material thermally decomposes into combustible gases and charcoal. The combustible gases can be condensed into a combustible liquid called pyrolysis oil or bio-oil.