Monday, 6 January 2014

The Rumors of my recent demise are grossly exaggerated

It was a long time ago that Mark twain uttered that quote. It was also a long time ago that I published my last blog entry.

2012/2013 was an horrendous pair of years for me. In the fall of the former, I was undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. (A type of leukemia) This marvelous little malady saw me in and out of hospital, clinic and treatment centre for the better part of 6 months. After battling with the malady, it finally decided to give up, and go into remission.

Come summer of 2013, I was again struck down, this time because of a viral infection that attacked my tri-geminal nerve. Now, for those non-medical folks who read this, T-G Neuralgia is known as "Suicide Sickness". The pain is well beyond excruciating, and I know first hand why it was given that name. Unfortunately, treatment initially consists of massive doses of Narcotics (Morphine, and the like) which of course, renders one almost incapable of normal function. My consultant said that I certainly don't do things half way. I had the most painful virus (Shingles) in the most painful site possible.

In the end, after months of treatment, medication, and surgery, I am now back to something that resembles a normal life. It's as if the past 2 years have been wiped out of my history.

So - for those who thought I had died and gone to heaven . . . I'm sorry to disappoint you. Now, it's a case of "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger".

So - to pick up where I left off. 2014 will now be the year that we implement commercial Torrefaction systems in the UK. In conjunction with our partners, we will be building a pair of fuel refineries, that take in roadside clearing wood chips, post consumer wood products chips and convert them into Bio-Coal. The primary market for this production, as it will be quite small (8 to 16 KT per year) will be the residential and commercial heating market. (Mostly small District Heating Networks in the local area.)

Here in the UK, there is a major initiative, that the Government is promoting, called the "Renewable Heat Incentive". This is a long-term support mechanism, that provides a subsidy for Biomass Heating Systems. So far - it has been mildly successful (about 1500 systems at last count) but by all accounts, this will grow exponentially as people make the switch to a low-carbon future.

As torrefied fuel is a low emission version of its whitewood counterpart, there is a distinct advantage to using it. Of course, at that end of the market, there is also a very high value, which sweetens the pot. Air quality is one of the main drivers, and the Government is mandating that the emissions fall well within a prescribed set of parameters. Of course, Bio-Coal is ideal for this.

So the plan is to manufacture 1/3 for that market, 1/3 for the Utility market, and 1/3 for R&D.

In many ways, this is the step we have all been waiting a very long time for. Hopefully, it is the one that launches this marvelous technology on to the market, in our own small way.

Progress updates to follow . . . . .


1 comment:

  1. I also developed lymphoma and I also worked with Torrefaction as a laboratory technician and did not use appropriate safety breathing equipment. It caused my Lymphoma as wood smoke contains many poisonous chemicals that is the reason why firemen wear oxygen masks when fighting fires, and its the reason most people die, from the smoke, so my advice for you is to stay away from any experiments or production of these torrefaction process. If you look up "wood smoke danger with cancer" you will find many people coming down with lymphoma from over exposure of wood smoke, mostly from cooking with wood, and other wood burning like fireplaces in chimneys...