Nippon Paper Industries, Tokyo, plans to produce heavy efficient-burning wood pellets as to use them as biomass fuel for electricity generation. The company will begin the tests on their new project in spring 2017 and plans to start the operation in fiscal 2018, as reported by Nikkei Asian Review.
The wood that Nikkon Paper plans to use is called torrefied wood and its process, torrefaction. This implies roasting it, by heating the wood at low temperatures for an hour. During this time, the wood releases a substance capable to burn by doubling the heat volume of the wood chips. Thus, the power generation efficiency also doubles.
As Nikkei Asian Review reported, the company will import eucalyptus and other tree materials harvested in Thailand by a division of SCG Packaging, a leading papermaker there in which it holds a 22% stake. The wood will be shipped to Nippon Paper's Kushiro mill in Hokkaido, where it will be mixed with coal and heated to produce torrefied wood pellets.
As for the tests starting 2017, the Japanese company is working on a system capable to operate with an output capacity for 8,000 tons of fuel pellets a year. Part of the tests will also consist of surveys taken all around Asia, with the help of the trading house Mitsui & Co.
If the studies will show that the project would bring profit, Nippon Paper will enhance its production capacity tenfold in fiscal 2018.