Direct Thermochemical Liquefaction

Heat and Power _ new

Pyrolysis oil fueled steam boiler at FrieslandCampina, the Netherlands.

Key Points



  • Heat and Power is currently one of the most successful bio-oil applications worldwide
  • Commercialized applications are in Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, and the USA
  • Each bio-fuel application is tailored to the needs of the end user
  • Commercial applications have been established by Fortum, BtG, and Ensyn

Further Reading



Stand-alone pyrolysis oil boiler in Finland




Within the IEA Bioenergy –Intertask project on High temperature heat in industry Task 34 prepared a Case study report on Industrial heat via Fast Pyrolysis (link to be added)

The use of bio-oils and bio-crudes to replace petroleum heating oils and/or natural gas is currently one of the most successful applications for DTL technologies worldwide.

In this application, the liquefaction process is used to convert solid biomass into an energy dense, liquid form.  Once liquefied, it can be transported more easily, pumped to an application, and metered at precise rates to quickly adjust to changing process demand for thermal energy.

The current commercial applications are tailored to the requirements of the customer.

Ensyn has straightforward applications:  production of bio-oil for transport to customers with long-term supply agreements. This includes Memorial Hospital for use in heating the facility.

100% Bio-oil combustion testing in a small commercial furnace, (PyNe41)

In addition, Ensyn contracts with Youngstown Thermal who provides district steam using heat derived from bio-oil combustion.

EMPYRO has a combined application. The production plant in Hengelo operates to produce process steam, electricity and bio-oil for transport to customers.  Excess heat in their

pyrolysis process is converted to steam and provided to local customers, electricity is partly sold to the grid, and the bio-oil is transported to FrieslandCampina for industrial process heating.


Additionally, the bio-oil can be used in an on-site oil boiler in periods of high heat demand (i.e wintertime) to provide extra heat to the district heating system.

The efforts of these pioneer companies in commercializing bio-oil applications are important steps in the greater adoption of direct liquefaction technologies.

Stand-alone pyrolysis oil boiler Memorial Hospital in New Hampshire (Pyne 37)

Heat applications will commoditize bio-oil such that it will be a standardized product, available in larger quantity, and allow the development of a mature logistics chain.

Direct power applications of bio-oil (e.g. turbines & diesel engines) are under development, but not yet widely demonstrated at scale.

Heat and power is as a 1st generation application of bio-oil will establish the opportunity for next generation applications, such as conversion to gasoline/diesel or extraction of chemicals, to grow in a marketplace where the availability and quality of bio-oil is a known factor.

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Example Commercial Applications