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Start of a Project to Manufacture Biomass Coke from the Empty Fruit Bunches of Oil Palms

Start of a Project to Manufacture Biomass Coke from the Empty Fruit Bunches of Oil Palms

Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd. announced on October 17, 2011 that it would embark upon a project to manufacture biomass coke in Malaysia. The empty fruit bunches (EFB) that are generated from the process of extracting palm oil are used as the raw materials, which are compacted through heating and compression, and then carbonized to produce biomass coke. The biomass coke obtained from this will then be supplied as a substitute for the blast furnace coke used in shaft gasification and melting furnaces.

A manufacturing plant for biomass coke is slated to be built near Sungai Klang in Perak, Malaysia. Construction work will begin at the early of 2012, with the goal of completing the plant and entering it into operation in spring of 2013. The annual production will be 3,000 tons initially, with consideration being given to expanding this to 10,000 tons in the future. Bio-coke is rod shaped, with a diameter of 40 millimeters and a length of 20 to 100 millimeters. This is said to be the first bio-coke project to be carried out on a commercial basis in the world.

Blast furnace coke is used as a heat source for melting and a reducing agent in gasification and melting furnaces. Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd. conducted a trial to produce biomass coke from the sawdust that is the waste matter from sawmills to serve as a blast furnace coke substitute. Compared to blast furnace coke, this biomass coke has a slightly higher content of volatile matter, but its fixed carbon and lower calorific value are roughly the same. As such, it was confirmed as offering stable operation even in trials in shaft gasification and melting furnaces.

After the completion of this biomass coke manufacturing plant in Malaysia, the full quantity of the coke will be exported to Japan, with the expectation that this will be sold to the shaft gasification and melting furnaces that are used at waste processing plants in Japan. They will be able to achieve CO2 reductions of 168kg for each ton of garbage by switching from blast furnace coke to biomass coke. But since the production costs are fairly expensive compared to those for coal, the extent to which they will be able to reduce this price will serve as a challenge for the future.

 

Photo: Bio-coke
Photo: Bio-coke
Source: Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd. press release
(http://www.nsc-eng.co.jp/news/detail/122)

 


Table 1.  Aspects of biomass coke and blast furnace coke

  Biomass coke Blast furnace coke
Moisture content wt %  4.6
Volatile content dry wt %  4.4 0.9
Ash content dry wt %  3 9.9
Fixed carbon dry wt %  92.6 89.2
Lower calorific value kJ/kg  29,570 30,136

Source: The application of biomass coke in shaft gasification and melting furnaces
http://www.jsim.or.jp/ecoslag/pdf/729_6.pdf#search

 

Source:
Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd. press release
(http://www.nsc-eng.co.jp/news/detail/122)

The application of biomass coke in shaft gasification and melting furnaces

History of improvements to shaft gasification and melting furnaces and their future prospects

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