Research & Development
Yilkins conducts a R&D program to continuously strengthen its technological proposition. The main challenges which drive our R&D program are based on market demand and developments:
1. Feedstock purification - unlocking feedstock
Very often the focus on resources related to biomass is the use of woody biomass as a feedstock for renewable energy. Many pellet projects rely on the expensive, relatively high quality of stem wood for their production. Agricultural biomass (bagasse, olive pulp, rice straw) or more general herbaceous biomass (grass, straw, banana grass) are much more attractive and sustainable biomass sources. They are available in large quantities at lower prices and are usually not (yet) used in the generation of biomass energy. The main reasons are that many of these raw materials contain too much silicon dioxide, alkali and chlorine.
2. Hydrophobic torrefied pellet
Although the Yilkins BIOCOAL technology already created a very significant step forward in achieving high quality torrefied pellets, the water resistance is still not yet fully optimal regarding outside storage under extremely humid conditions (e.g. at coal fired power plants) and has to be further improved.
3. Torrefaction ‘plug-in’ approach
Torrefaction ‘plug-in’ approach. The interest in torrefaction of biomass also comes from owners of existing regular pellet plants. The most attractive solution for them would be a ‘torrefaction plug-in’ which can be installed with a minimal impact in their existing plant and results in minor challenges for the material and energy balance. The volatiles release during torrefaction may be a limiting factor for a ‘torrefaction plug-in’ approach. Volatiles combustion creates a completely different energy balance, connects the drying and torrefaction thermally and requires specific characteristics for the combustion equipment. In most cases the existing combustion system (for drying) is not suitable.
4. Nitrogen pollution – emissions
Especially in countries such as the Netherlands the discussions on Nitrogen pollution is becoming very intense. The simple basis for the increased scrutiny is that the total emission of the Dutch society has reached or exceeded acceptable limits. Combustion in general is a cause of NOx emissions and therefore contributes to this problem. A low NOx profile for production and combustion of pellets will become a precondition in the near future.
INTELLECTUAL PROPRIETARY POSITION & POLICY
From its incorporation in 2015, Yilkins has turned its ideas into trade secrets and has built its intellectual property position. This to enable and protect its position as a leading technology company in biomass conversion technologies. Yilkins has a global vision based on local alliances and cooperations. Yilkins believes in an open innovation approach to build biomass value chains together and replace fossil fuels.
Yilkins drying and torrefaction solutions are commercially proven. We have a Demo BIOCOAL plant in Ruurlo in the Netherlands, a regular pellet plant in Goor, the Netherlands, which is based on a ‘local to local’ principle and the Futerra project in Valongo in Portugal being the largest operational torrefaction plant.
Interested in our R&D program?
Investors and clients who are interested in our R&D program are welcomed in our test facilities.