• University of Louisville researchers developing biocoal

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Researchers at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville in the US state of Kentucky are experimenting with their own form of biocoal, the type of coal-substitute or coal-biomass blend which has been gaining some attention over the last few years. Dr. Jagannadh Satyavolu’s team of researchers have been developing mixes of forest waste, hemp and kenaf (a plant native to south Asia) made into pellets after a process of torrefaction (a mild form of pyrolysis, which amongst other things helps to make the product easier to grind) and densification. The team’s biocoal is free of mercury and sulphur, and is (probably) less carbon intensive than burning coal itself. They hope to find markets in Japan and Europe, and as a first step are looking for partners willing to trial their fuels.