Is the Sarvel BioRenewals (SBR) technique intended only for agricultural crops containing little or no lignin?

Lignin percentage makes no difference for our technology. The technology applies to all kinds of biomass and waste materials.

For trees, do we add in the Sarvel BioRenewals (SBR) Process before or after the dryer? Do we even need to use it for forest wood?

The SBR process will be used while the wood is still wet. Our mechanical de-watering process will reduce the moisture content down to around 20% before further processing. After that, to produce the bio-coal and other biofuels, no further drying is required with the technology our partner has for torrefaction, if necessary, for the client.

Will it add to the already high cost of drying?

No extra drying is required (see the answers above). We have tried the system in small scale, and it works. We are developing mechanical de-watering as part of the technology with the leaching baths. The cost for the mechanical de-watering is not going to be a significant part of the total cost of the SBR equipment.

Is the process aggressive enough to be applied to remove sodium chloride and related sea salts from woody biomass? Would “de-salting” produce a new wood product in its own right?

Yes, that is what the SBR technology does. It removes any kind of alkalis, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and other in-organics. The resulting new product is categorized as clean biomass feedstock.

Bio-coal from trees is expensive already and produces a marginally-profitable commodity product, albeit a high quality product. Does the Sarvel BioRenewals process add to the production costs?

The consolidated final cost is actually negative, as the outputs will be able to be used in combustion and gasification processes with much higher efficiency, and without ash, tar and emissions related problems.

What do you mean by “clean bio-coal”? Doesn’t Torrefaction clean the wood already? How does removing inorganic content prevent subsequent organic content tar formation?

Biomass contains inorganic elements such as alkali metals, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, etc., that create ash-related problems such as deposition, corrosion, agglomeration, as well as air emissions during combustion and gasification processes.

Removing the inorganics with the SBR process before the biomass is used as feedstock for combustion, gasification, and pyrolysis processes improves process efficiencies and economics. You don't need just to remove a few impurities, but rather all. Otherwise, the problems will knock on your door sooner than you think.

What torrefaction does is alter the chemistry of biomass, making it more brittle so it can be milled easier during the conversion in pf boilers. It does not clean anything from the biomass. It does not remove contaminates; it actually condenses them. Torrefaction is a densification-technique used to prepare biomass for shipping over long distances. Torrefaction is required if you are going to feed the fuel into a pf boiler and/or you plan to store the fuel for a long time in relatively humid conditions, and/or to ship it for long distances. If these are not the circumstance, then you don't have to do it. All this will result in net gaining from the process. If your biomass is forest residues, or whatever wood including bark, then you have to apply this process to be able to have a product that can compete with coal. We are working with a company that develops torrefaction technology endorsed by EPRI. When you combine the two systems (torrefaction+SBR) you save on manpower as well as equipment which are duplicates, such as milling, drying, and storage. The actual cost of the leaching plant goes down by 30-50% compared to when standalone.

How does removing inorganic content prevent subsequent organic content tar formation?

Inorganics removed during the Sarvel BioRenewals (SBR) process play a very significant role in tar formation. We just finalized a gasification testing with EPRI where the tars were reduced by more than 50%, and up to 90% in volume with the use of the SBR process. Because leaching will allow the use of higher temperatures in the gasifier without ash-related problems, the conversion of tars inside the reactor will be much higher also. It's expected that with 1000C in the reactor with the SBR process, we will remove tars by 99% without applying any gas cleaning method. Furthermore, if you don't remove the inorganics, you will have to keep the temperature low to avoid ash-related problems. As a result, your efficiency will be low as well as the final profit.