A former British Coal business, CPL Industries, has announced plans to install what it claims would be the first commercial‐scale “hydrothermal carbonisation” (HTC) facility in the UK at its production site in Immingham, North Lincolnshire.
The company said that the new facility will produce a “commercial scale facility capable of converting biomass into next generation solid fuels with coal-like properties”.
The facility is being built in partnership with the University of Nottingham; CPL Industries is is a business which focuses on new product development, “with the aim of producing fully renewable, high performance fuels”.
CPL and the university said they are now looking for partners to supply waste material to the plant and collaborate on future commercial projects.
“The bio-coal that is produced can be made from various items such as waste wood, green waste, food waste and even manure,” explained Professor Snape at Nottingham University.
He added: “Basically, green waste. The advantage of the technology is for wet waste.”
HTC is a technology for converting high‐moisture biomass into solid fuels using moderate temperatures and high pressures.
According to a statement from CPL Industries, the HTC process aims to mimic the long‐term natural process of coal formation, “with the process taking a matter of hours rather than millennia”.
CPL added that its intention for the HTC facility is to investigate suitable replacements for fossil fuels in its home heating products, with potential future developments being the possible replacement of coking coals in industrial applications such as foundries and smelters.