You can choose from several standard sizes or you let us build the plant which meets exactly your requirements.

The Vapothermal Carbonization (VTC)

Vapothermal Carbonization (VTC) is a process that has been developed from Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC), which uses heat and pressure to imitate the natural coalification process (the formation of fossil coal over a period of millions of years) in a much shorter time.

In contrast to HTC, the reaction does not take place in a hot water bath but in a reaction atmosphere of saturated steam.

VTC is a batch process, the reaction time is typically three to four hours, depending on the biomass, the reaction pressure and temperature in our plants, in order to produce Bio-Coal with a high degree of carbonization and a calorific value between lignite and anthracite coal.

The advantage of VTC compared to HTC lies in the simpler process management, the considerably higher throughput and significantly lower requirements for the pretreatment of the biomass.

Biomass that is to be treated with VTC does not have to be reduced to a pumpable size, as with HTC, but can in most cases be used without any pretreatment at all. This leads to considerably lower investment costs for a Vapothermal Carbonization plant.

In our original VTC system, the biomass inside the reactor is directly exposed to saturated steam and high pressure, the heat and condensation energy from the steam is used to heat up the biomass, afterwards the steam is withdrawn from the reactor as contaminated process water. This toxic process water has to be cleaned in a complex process and due to its toxicity cannot be discharged into conventional sewage treatment plants, without having gone through and cleaned in a sophisticated UV system.

Our second generation reactor, the VTC-TO reactor is a jacketed (double walled) reactor filled with our patented thermo oil. The high temperature of the thermo oil circulating inside the jacket creates the steam needed to set the carbonization process in motion. Steam and pressure being regulated throughout the process automatically, as in our original reactor version.

This up-dated system has gone through stringent trials in the last 2 years, before being adopted in our overall process, accepted for EU grant applications and permitted by the German Environment Ministry.

The new system eliminates the following:
1. steam-carrying pressure lines, which greatly improves work safety;
2. the steam generator;
3. the water purification system needed for the steam generator;
4. results in the drastic reduction of process wastewater;
5. As a result of the reduction of process waste-water the heat requirement for the VTC-TO decreases
    between 20% to 30% (depending on the biomass used) compared to our original VTC system.

functional scheme

The following picture shows a conceptional design of a 3,000 m3/d VTC plant for the production of Bio-Coal from biomass and organic Household waste: 

footprint VTC

The fundamental difference between energy supply from fossil fuels and from biomass: burning fossil fuels releases carbon that has been locked up in the ground for millions of years, while burning biomass emits carbon that is part of the biogenic carbon cycle.

carbon neutral

In other words, fossil fuel use increases the total amount of carbon in the biosphere-atmosphere system while bioenergy systems operate within this system; biomass combustion simply returns to the atmosphere the carbon that was absorbed as the plants grew.

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