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CPL plans UK's first commercial‐scale hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) plant

CPL Industries Ltd, a UK-headed developer, producer and distributor of solid fuels has announced plans to install a commercial‐scale hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) facility at its production site in Immingham. This facility, scheduled to begin production in mid‐2018, will be the first commercial‐scale example of this technology, developed by CPL’s Spanish partner Ingelia, anywhere in the UK.

Artist rendering of the hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) plant to be built in Immingham (image courtesy CPL Industries).

According to a statement, the new facility is being constructed in partnership with the University of Nottingham (UoN) and The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), an initiative funded by Innovate UK that works with universities and industry to support research and innovation in energy.

Hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) is a technology for converting high‐moisture biomass into solid fuels using moderate temperatures and high pressures. The HTC process effectively mimics the long‐term natural process of coal formation, with the process taking a matter of hours rather than millennia. The process is able to process waste streams such as green / organic waste into value‐added fuel products that could be used in both domestic and industrial applications.

CPL and the UoN are looking for partners to supply waste material to the plant and collaborate on future commercial projects. CPL’s intention for the HTC facility, which will form part of the company’s ‘Ecofuels & Carbon Technology Park’, is to investigate suitable replacements for fossil fuels in its home heating products, with possible future developments being the possible replacement of coking coals in industrial applications such as foundries and smelters.

CPL Industries has an ongoing programme for the development of next‐generation fuels based on biomass materials and novel production processes and already has solid fuel products on the market containing biomass material.

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