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OFA News: Cutting News

OFA Executive Director and Members visit pyrolyzed wood and biochar research lab in France

Monday, June 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gayla Fleming
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OFA Executive Director, Brad Perkins along with 2 OFA members, an expert on biochar from Canada, and 2 non-members from another wood using industry in Ohio recently visited a research lab for E.T.I.A., a company in France that manufactures heat treating machinery for everything from roasting and sterilizing food products, to producing pyrolyzed wood and biochar. After meeting for a few hours with the owner of the company, they toured an operating biochar plant, meeting with both the owner of the plant and the operator. They took ample time to look at every part of the operation and were able to ask questions. This plant was producing biochar from relatively dry sawdust, with by-products of bio-oil and bio-gas. The owner of this plant was concentrating on biochar production and markets, so was not yet having the bio-oil refined into other products such as wood vinegar (liquid smoke) and bunker seed oil. He was also currently burning off the bio-gas. Once his production ramps up, it would make sense for him to take advantage of these other by-products.

The unique thing about their reactors is that their process heat is supplied by an electrically charged, shaft-less screw that can be precisely controlled for both temperature and retention time of the product going through the reactor. This gives the flexibility to make many different products at a high level of consistency. The reactors come in a variety of sizes and, with a little preplanning for space and cooling capacity, can be added onto by dropping more reactors in side-by-side. They have over 170 machines operating across the globe, including some in the U.S. They have a facility in Tippecanoe, Indiana that OFA will be talking to about running some trials for at least one of it’s members.

Perkins and the group finished the day by going back to the lab and spending another 90 minutes quizzing the owner and a couple of his engineering staff.

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