Burning bio-oil to heat homes more sustainably – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

An EU-funded job has perfected the manufacturing of bio-oil and altered boilers to warmth households…

An EU-funded job has perfected the manufacturing of bio-oil and altered boilers to warmth households – recycling farm and forestry squander even though reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


© arrow #235592411 source:stock.adobe.com 2020

The broad bulk of households in Europe are heated by all-natural gas or oil. Switching to substitute, sustainable fuels – this sort of as bio-oil built from farm and forestry squander – would noticeably decrease greenhouse gas emissions and assist to struggle worldwide warming.

In Germany alone, it has been calculated that altering just ten % of the country’s previous-fashioned boilers to operate on bio-oil could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by all over five.five million tonnes for each year.

The target of the EU-funded RESIDUE2HEAT job was to develop a beneficial liquid fuel from a extensive vary of squander biomass, which could be made use of in little-scale boilers to offer inexpensive, additional sustainable residential heating.

The scientists took a two-phase strategy. 1st, they searched for approaches to make improvements to liquid biofuel developed via a method identified as rapid pyrolysis. The obstacle with this form of fuel – identified as rapid pyrolysis bio-oil (FPBO) – is that even the most superior residential heating devices are not able to cope with its inconsistent properties. Hence, the job staff worked to develop a standardised merchandise, no matter of the uncooked resources made use of to make it.

RESIDUE2HEAT then seemed into adapting residential boilers to render them capable of burning this fuel.

‘Our novel FPBO-fuelled boiler satisfies most operational and environmental needs in the precise meant atmosphere,’ points out job coordinator Herbert Pfeifer of RWTH Aachen College in Germany and scientific head of the OWI Oel-Waerme-Institut gGmbH, affiliated to the college. ‘And an environmental impact evaluation has verified the favourable impacts of FPBO heating compared to fossil alternatives, especially when it will come to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (eighty-94 %).’

Redesigning heating for households

Utilizing the rapid pyrolysis method, squander biomass – this sort of as wheat straw, forest resides, bark, elephant grass and clean up wood – can be converted into bio-oil. Beginning by modelling how FPBO breaks down and burns, the RESIDUE2HEAT staff then made use of the resulting data to tailor the fuel to suit residential heating.

By guaranteeing regularity in the fuel’s chemical properties, this sort of as h2o content material, they succeeded in bettering its stability and high quality.

Next, they seemed at adapting and optimising present residential heating devices to help the use of FPBO. A complicated method, this needed the redesign and manufacture of ideal burner elements to optimise the burning of this fuel.

Usual elements made use of in heating devices, this sort of as pumps and fuel nozzles, were examined for their FPBO compatibility. Due to the fact so tiny was identified about FPBO combustion, RESIDUE2HEAT scientists researched the fuel’s conduct in laboratory-scale burners right before scaling up the method.

Switch to biomass

The staff has also done a move-by-move roll-out approach for the use of FBPO in residential heating, interviewing gas, oil, and pellet heating procedure house owners to make certain a favourable general public acceptance. Importantly, they have proven that the idea is price tag-aggressive with recent fossil fuels without the will need for incentives, earning it economically practical.

‘Ashes recovered from the FPBO manufacturing method have wonderful prospective for supplying soil nutrients and could as a result be recycled for agricultural purposes,’ provides Pfeifer.

The staff expect that their techniques for building significant-high quality FPBO will offer a head begin to other investigation programmes, this sort of as the EU-funded SmartCHP job, which aims to establish little-scale models for creating warmth and electric power from biomass.