Two decades of intermediate pyrolysis: A major step towards CHP applicable bio-oils
Around two decades of research and development focuses on the development of a new thermochemical process to convert biogenic carbon based residues into valuable storable products, contributing to current energy, environmental, and resource challenges. Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR®) is an intermediate pyrolysis combined with a unique integrated catalytic reforming step. Various biogenic and industrial residues, such as sewage sludge, straw, digestate, municipal solid waste, and blends thereof, were tested and characterized in a TCR® plant. The TCR® oils are of unique properties in terms of their thermal stability. Due to this, the TCR® oils can be utilized straight out of the process by proven technologies, such as small and medium scale CHP engines, as well as diesel and gasoline automobile engines after hydro-treatment. The oils can even be distilled which is unique for pyrolysis liquids. The purpose of this work is to highlight the major progress from around two decades of research and development in the field of intermediate pyrolysis. Additionally, this work will highlight the latest achievements of the TCR® technology, focusing on medium scale applications. The research at Fraunhofer UMSICHT focuses on the integration of the TCR® technology with proven technologies to enable a sustainable transition from the fossil fuel age to meet the political targets for 2020 and beyond.