Are black pellets ready to compete with white pellets?

Renewable energy and carbon emissions reduction policies in Japan, South Korea, Canada, Western Europe, and other nations support the use of pellet fuel as a substitute for coal in power stations. To date, investments in pellet conversions have been focused on regular, industrial wood pellets, sometimes called white pellets.

Advanced wood pellets, often called black pellets due to their appearance after thermal treatment, have long been touted as a superior fuel to conventional white wood pellets. Black pellets are supposed to address some of the potential shortcomings associated with white wood pellets for use as a substitute for coal in pulverized coal power plants. Black pellet key advantages that have been put forward over the years include the elimination of the need for dry storage and transportation, better grindability, less dust formation during handling and storage, and higher specific energy density. Black pellets generally refer to two distinct technological approaches to developing an advanced wood pellet: torrefaction and steam explosion (SE).

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