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Techno-economic evaluation of integrating torrefaction with anaerobic digestion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-284
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Energy
Early online dateJan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In recent days, the interest on torrefaction is increasing owing to its ability to improve biomass properties to a level of competing with coal. However, its techno-economic feasibility still need to be optimized. Integrating torrefaction with other thermochemical and biochemical processes could be a feasible option to improve the performance of the torrefaction process. In that regard, this study evaluates the techno-economic feasibility of integrating the torrefaction with anaerobic digestion (AD). In addition, new process configurations were studied to identify the possible heat energy recovery options. Technical feasibility was tested through mass and energy balance at each process unit. The economic indicators such as net present value (€), minimum selling price and internal rate on return (%) were used to evaluate the economic performance. At 10 t/h of torrefied biomass pellets production capacity, the estimated bio-methane production from AD was 369 m3/h. The economic evaluation shows that the minimum selling price of the torrefied biomass to reach the breakeven could be reduced from 199 €/t for standalone torrefaction to 185 €/t in case of torrefaction integrated with AD. The sensitivity analysis shows that feedstock and total capital investment were the most sensitive input parameters. This study shows that integrating the torrefaction with AD has better technical and economic feasibility than standalone torrefaction.


  • Energy recovery, Minimum selling price, Process integration, Techno-economic analysis, Torrefaction – anaerobic digestion, Torrefied pellets

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland