Environmental Protection

Industry Leaders Form Association to Promote Biocoal

Clean-technology companies, industrial users and research institutions in Germany and Switzerland have together founded Hydrothermale Carbonisierung e.V. Using HTC, biomass is converted into environmentally friendly biocoal. In this way, the HTC process is making an important contribution to climate protection and the efficient use of various forms of biogenic waste, such as landscape waste, communal biowaste, forestry and agricultural waste, as well as sewage sludge and industrial waste such as spent grains.

The aim of the association is to promote the use of hydrothermal carbonization. With the association, the members are creating a joint interest group tasked with intensifying dialogue with politicians and managers and providing the public with in-depth information on the advantages of HTC.

“Hydrothermal carbonization is a highly efficient process for generating renewable energy, which makes a substantial contribution to reducing greenhouse gases,” explained Klaus Serfass, professional engineer and president of the association.

“We have realized that the HTC process is being implemented on too small a scale, despite its obvious advantages. We want to promote the application of this seminal technology in a targeted manner and firmly anchor it in national and European energy policies,” added professional engineer Julian Schwark, media spokesman for the new association.

The association’s activities will focus on promoting the standardization and approval of the fuel, so that biocoal, like other biofuels, can be used as a reliable and safe way of producing local, renewable electricity and heat.

Hydrothermal carbonization is a process which involves subjecting various types of biomass to heat and pressure for a short time, thereby converting it into high-quality CO2-neutral biocoal. Alternatively, the HTC process can generate biochar, a humus-like product that can be used for improving the soil in agriculture or for storing CO2. Friedrich Bergius first described the HTC process in 1913. In 1931, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work.


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