Torrefaction is a thermo-chemical process that reduces the moisture content of wood and transforms it into a brittle, char-type material. The thermo-chemical process can reduce the mass of wood by 20-30% resulting in a denser, higher-valued product that can be transported more economically than traditional wood chips. Through torrefaction, wood may retain 90% of the energy value. This energy dense end-product can be used as a coal replacement or co-fired/co-milled with coal in electricity generating power plants. Torrefied wood can be used as a soil amendment, for backyard grilling, residential heating, or as a feedstock in gasification processes. This paper is a literature synthesis that will present (1) the torrefaction process, (2) current developments in commercial torrefaction equipment, (3) characteristics of and markets for torrefied wood, and (4) feedstock specifications for torrefaction.
Mitchell, D.; Elder, T. 2010. Torrefaction What s that In: Proceedings of 2010 COFE: 33rd Annual Meeting of the Council on Forest Engineering. Auburn, AL: June 6-9, 2010. CD-ROM 1-7.