A new sustainable heating solution?

Looking for a more sustainable way to heat your home? A new study has found that fast pyrolysis bio-oil causes up to 95% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels.

The study was conducted within the Residue2Heat project, which is showing the potential for using pyrolysis oil in residential heating. BTG Biomass Technology Group is a partner in the project.

The calculation is based on a life cycle assessment which includes all steps from biomass cultivation, through to the fast pyrolysis process itself, and the end use of the fuel. It found that between 77% and 95% emission savings can be expected depending on the feedstock utilised. Various types of biomass, like wheat straw, bark and Miscanthus were included in the analysis. These results satisfy the greenhouse gas emissions saving requirements of both the European Union’s current Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and in the future draft (RED2).

The full potential of pyrolysis oil from biomass residues for residential heating will be further explored in the Residue2Heat project. Within the project market studies are conducted related to this new fuel and its modified heating system, which will provide further knowledge for a successful market launch.

As the study acknowledges, an even more sustainable use of the bio-oil would be to turn it into useful products, rather than burn it for energy. This is what is being demonstrated in the Bio4Products project, where the fast pyrolysis oil is being separated into intermediate products (pyrolytic lignin and pyrolytic sugar), which are used in the production of roofing material, phenolic resins, sand moulding resins, and engineered wood.