Pulp and Paper Canada

BioOil Matches Natural Gas Performance in Lime Kiln Tests

August 1, 2003  By Pulp & Paper Canada

A new proprietary “fast pyrolysis” process converts forest and agricultural residue (including bark) into liquid BioOil and char.BioOil is a clean burning, greenhouse gas neutral fuel that will initia…

A new proprietary “fast pyrolysis” process converts forest and agricultural residue (including bark) into liquid BioOil and char.

BioOil is a clean burning, greenhouse gas neutral fuel that will initially be used to replace fossil fuels to generate power and heat in stationary gas turbines, diesel engines and boilers and to replace natural gas in the forest industry and to replace another product in the coal industry. The char is a high BTU (heating value) solid fuel that can be used in kilns, boilers and the briquette industry.


BioOil is produced by converting organic residues such as forest (e.g., sawdust, bark) and agricultural wastes (e.g., bagasse) in DynaMotive’s patented fast pyrolysis process. The process takes less than two seconds to produce BioOil, char, and non-condensable gases. There is zero waste as there is significant commercial application and value and the non-condensable gases are recycled and produce approximately 75% of the energy required for the pyrolysis process. Initial tests carried out under the direction of Professor Paul Watkinson of the University of British Columbia (UBC) have established that its performance is comparable to that of natural gas, confirming its potential for use within the pulp and paper industry. Full-scale pilot testing is expected to be completed later this year, with pulp producers already interested in the technology.

BioOil is greenhouse gas neutral, does not produce SOx (sulfur dioxide) emissions during combustion and produces approximately half the NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions in comparison with fossil fuels. Integrated production and use of BioOil in pulp and paper facilities has the potential of reducing energy costs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Substitution of this process for fossil fuels in pulp mill kilns represents a significant market opportunity. In western Canada alone, 22 kraft pulp mills consume approximately 16 million GJ (giga joules) of fossil fuels (2.6 million BOE) each year in their lime kilns. This energy consumption is equivalent to the BioOil produced by 11 commercial scale BioOil facilities each processing 800 green tonnes of wood residue per day. The global opportunity within the pulp & paper sector alone is estimated to exceed 160 full-scale BioOil plants.

“We are pleased with the results of the initial tests. As anticipated, the initial stages of the test program have shown BioOil lime kiln temperature profiles and emissions profiles similar to natural gas. The fully-calcined lime characteristics obtained with BioOil were comparable on a macroscopic and a microscopic level to those achieved with natural gas,” said Professor Watkinson of UBC.

DynaMotive’s president and CEO Andrew Kingston said, “In the last three years, we have validated BioOil as a fuel for power generation and combined heat and power applications with Orenda turbines, combustion characteristics in furnaces with CANMET, lumber kiln applications with Canfor and now lime kiln applications with the assistance of UBC. BioOil is rapidly establishing its potential as a credible alternative to fossil fuels.”

Partial funding of this program is provided by Industry Canada through Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) and the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) of the National Research Council of Canada.#text2#

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