Earlier this year, UNC-Chapel Hill’s co-generation plant announced that it would be coal-free by 2020. As coal-burning power plants seek ways to reduce their environmental impact, some are turning to the use of biomass (plant material or animal waste) for the generation of steam, heat, and/or electricity.
Earlier this month, the co-generation plant, already one of the most efficient power plants in the nation, co-fired coal with biomass in the form of dried wood pellets and will continue to test wood pellets in addition to torrefied wood – aka biochar – a product that is similar to charcoal.
Here are some useful links to learn more about torrefied wood:
NPR Story: Roasted wood: An alternative to coal energy?
PPT Presentation: Using Torrefied Wood for Electricity, Briquette & Pellet Production