Thermya Releases TORSPYD: Biomass Torrefaction Technology

Villenave d’Ornon, March 19, 2010Thermya, a French engineering leader in biomass energy recovery, announced today the release of its TORSPYD technological process for the torrefaction of non-food biomass.

Designed by Thermya, TORSPYD is the most advanced torrefaction technology currently available. To date, it is the only industrially-proven process in Europe which enables continuous torrefaction of any agricultural and forestry nonfood biomass.

TORSPYD’s technology and innovative process are based on the “solid organics distillation principle.” This patented method allows users to fully dehydrate and then depolymerize biomass, in order to produce an absolutely hydrophobic and homogeneous solid fuel.  In fact, TORSPYD is characterized by the highest energy-yields performance of all technologies known to date.

TORSPYD torrefaction allows for the conversion of all kinds of biomass into BioCoal, which contains less than 1% moisture, and retains both 95% of the initial biomass energy and more than 90% of its initial dry mass. The BioCoal’s net calorific value is around 20500 kJ/kg; far greater than that of non-torrefied biomass. BioCoal can be mixed with fossil coal and co-fired in thermal power stations without any modification of the facilities. Co-firing BioCoal (as a substitute for coal) eliminates mix-rate limitations and reduces CO2, SO4 and NOx emissions. On top of that, thanks to lower NOx emissions, co-firing BioCoal allows for equivalent-energy efficiency with reduced fuel consumption.

As a result of its hydrophobic properties, BioCoal does not incur any biological degradations; it can therefore be stored and shipped safely without any known risk to climate conditions. The TORSPYD torrefaction column is energy self-sufficient, meaning that the re-injection of 4% of the BioCoal production into the torrefaction system complements the process’s operational energy requirements.

“Today, Thermya is the only company in Europe to offer an industrially-proven, fully operational biomass torrefaction continuous process,” explains Jean-Sebastian Hery, Technical Vice-President and co-founder of Thermya. Thermya signed a first-license agreement in 2009 with the Spanish company IDEMA, Group Lantec. Through this agreement, IDEMA will build torrefaction units based on the TORSPYD process.

“In summary, the main benefits of our TORSPYD technology are unrivaled performance levels and extremely low operating costs. TORSPYD is the relevant response to the environmental and economical issues electricity producers, operating coal-fired power stations, are currently facing. It also opens up opportunities for manufacturers of classical wood pellets or forest operators, whose production could gain considerable value from torrefaction. Classical pellets are indeed commonly produced from sawdust or from co-products of the primary wood processing industry, whereas our technology is designed to produce premium quality biomass fuel (totally dry and hydrophobic) directly from forestry residues – hardly used at present. Besides all that, producing premium quality pellets from torrefied wood is less energy-consuming than producing classical wood pellets,” comments Hervé Chauvin, Managing Director and co-founder of Thermya.

Thermya attended the Globe 2010 exhibition in Vancouver (March 2010) to introduce its technology and to initiate commercial and industrial long-term partnerships in the North American market.

About Thermya:

Thermya is a French engineering company founded in 2002, which specializes in the design of technological solutions to convert non-food biomass into carbon or energy. Thermya has developed a unique and innovative proprietary torrefaction technology called TORSPYD®, which allows the concentration of almost all energy contained in any ligno-cellulosic material. Thermya is also involved in the recycling of wood waste and organic solids. The company is headquartered in Villenave d’Ornon, close to Bordeaux, France, and has a staff of 15 people including five engineers and four scientists. For additional information please visit: