Friday, 3 December 2010

All's Quiet on the western front

Where have all the Torrefaction Developers gone?

It seemed for a while there, that a week didn't go by, that someone else was entering the torrefaction arena. After all - in the short span of a couple of years, no less than 53 Companies and Organisations were throwing their hats into the ring. NOW - it would appear that we have reached "saturation" point.

One could reasonably assume that this meant there was a clear winner - a Company that had "cracked the code" - and that was successful in commercialising the Technology. Alas - such is not the case.

Progress continues, slowly but surely, towards the ultimate goal. What is happening, is a number of Governmental organisations worldwide are "waking up" to the potential of torrefaction, and undertaking "studies" with respect to its viability.

For example - the Government in British Columbia is throwing $150,000.00 at a study, and will then consider whether there is any merit to throwing even larger amounts of money at a pilot project - and ultimately a Commercial Demonstration Project. Somehow, from where I sit, this this seems a lot like reinventing the wheel. After all - there was much fanfare a few months ago about a large Torrefaction Facility being built in Terrace, BC. The Ground breaking ceremony was attended by local, regional and Provincial Politicians; including the Minister of Forests I understand; so I have to ask myself "Didn't he tell the Ministry department looking at considering the viability of Torrefaction about this project?"

After all - it seems somewhat of a foregone conclusion. However - far be it from me to even attempt to begin to understand the mysterious ways of politics and politicians.

As the cold weather sets in, and my energy bills escalate (Followed closely by the annual escalation in Fuel costs) I think about the time when I will have a nice pellet boiler to warm the cockles of my house. Funny - but the annual increase in energy costs is as predictable as the annual Postal Strike - just before Christmas. I wonder if it's a revolt on the part of the Postal workers to NOT deliver the Utility Bills until AFTER Christmas????? Somehow - I think not.

The Reactor development is coming along nicely. We have added a pair of eminent scientists to our Staff, and are busy working away on CFD and devolitilization regimes and the like. We do now have one test reactor operational - and this is specifically focussed on Fines (sawdust) and small particles. A second test reactor, which will handle wood chips and ground wood is on schedule for March commissioning. Slowly - but surely - we continue on our quest.

FINALLY, after 20 months, my report entitled "A Complete and Comprehensive Overview of Torrefaction Technologies" is ready for the publisher. It should be available on the market by December 7th. While not exactly bedtime reading, it does include virtually everything you always wanted to know about Torrefaction - but were afraid to ask.

In the end - it may not sell one copy. On the other hand - it may sell many. The cost of the report is about 2 weeks wages for a researcher in a Large Company - and represents excellent value, if you want to know the "who's who" and " what's what" of torrefaction.

Wish me luck.


1 comment:

  1. Hello and good luck with your comprehensive report on torrefaction. I'm actually very interested in the subject and was wondering where I could get a copy of the report.
    I am also a very poor college student so if i could possible get a discount our even a couple of free pages I would never forget it(absolutely no obligation whatsoever but thanks all the same).

    I also agree it has been quiet on the western front. I've been doing research for about a month, definitely not as long as you have, and haven't found anything knew for the past 3 weeks. But your site gave me new hope

    Thanks and Good luck again,
    Miss Rice Owl