Pittsburgh, PA, October 05, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Heyl & Patterson Inc., a specialist engineering company headquartered in Pittsburgh, will open its Pilot Plant Testing Laboratory to attendees of the Northeast Biomass Conference to demonstrate the equipment it manufactures for the alternative energy process called torrefaction. The Conference will be held on October 12-13, 2011 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Pittsburgh.
Torrefaction is a thermochemical process that reduces the moisture in wood biomass, a renewable energy source that can be produced from plant matter, while increasing its energy density. Wood is transformed into a dry, charcoal-like material that can be substituted for coal. Torrefied wood has the potential to significantly reduce power plant greenhouse gas emissions by replacing coal to generate electricity.
Heyl & Patterson designs specialized machines called Rotary Calciners that perform the torrefaction process. A Calciner is a high-temperature, indirectly-heated device in which the atmosphere and environment can be controlled, while volatile gases are captured and completely combusted. After torrefaction, wood retains up to 90% of its energy value.
“Torrefaction has been recognized internationally as a promising development in the feasibility of renewable energy production,” said John Edelman, President and CEO of Heyl & Patterson. “There are a variety of proposed uses for torrefied wood, and its properties make it compatible with coal or suitable as a coal replacement. Other potential uses include industrial boilers, residential heating and even backyard grilling.”
“The need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has increased interest in using biomass to generate electricity,” said Jeff Morris, Vice President. “However, raw biomass has several disadvantages, including low energy density, high moisture content, degradation during storage and an extra expense to grind it into smaller particles. Torrefaction solves these issues.”
Heyl & Patterson’s laboratory facility is located in the Green Tree area of Pittsburgh, and has tested industrial processes for decades. Tours are planned for 1:00 PM on Wednesday, October 12 and 10:30 AM on Thursday, October 13.
About Heyl & Patterson Inc.:
Founded in 1887 in Pittsburgh, PA, Heyl & Patterson Inc. provides high quality, custom engineered solutions for thermal processing and bulk material handling applications around the globe. Thermal processing products and services include some of the largest high-efficiency Dryers & Coolers in the world, as well as Calciners, Powder & Bulk Material Processors and Pilot Plant Laboratory Testing. Heyl & Patterson innovated the Rotary Railcar Dumper and offers a wide range of bulk material handling equipment, including Railcar & Barge Movers and Barge Unloaders. For further information, contact David Phillips at 412-809-7170.