ECN publication
Torrefied Bamboo for the Import of Sustainable Biomass from Colombia
Daza Montano, C.M.; Zwart, R.W.R.; Camargo, J.; Diaz-Chavez, R.; Londono, X.; Fryda, L.E.; Janssen, A.H.H.; Pels, J.R.; Kalivodova, J.; Angel Amezquita, M. voorvoegsels; Arango, A.; Hernandez, A.; Rodriguez, A.; Suarez, J.D. D.; Rosillo Calle, F.; Hensen, A.; Verheggen, B.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Biomass & Energy Efficiency 23-4-2015
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--15-020 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
156 Download PDF  

The report presents the results of the technical, economic and sustainability assessment of the import of torrefied bamboo pellets from Colombia to the Netherlands as a biomass supply chain for electricity production. The specific case assessment is for the bamboo species Guadua angustifolia. Additionally to guadua, alternative species (Guadua amplexifolia, Bambusa vulgaris, Chusquea subulata, Dendrocalamus strictus) have been identified and subjected to a preliminary technical assessment. The technical evaluation results show that the bamboo species Guadua angustifolia is a good candidate for fossil fuel (coal) replacement in power plants, especially after it undergoes pre-treatment such as dry torrefaction that improves grindability of the material, or torwash that in addition removes ash elements such as Cl and alkalis that cause fouling and deposition problems during thermal conversion. Furthermore, several other bamboo species (e.g. Bambusa vulgaris, and Dendrocalamus strictus) could be included in the fuel portfolio of modern pulverized fuel power plants after a certain pre-treatment process. Bamboo presents common characteristics with many other biomass feedstocks regarding heating value and chemical composition. It has the potential to be a sustainable feedstock in the bio-based economy, not only for energy purposes but also for the chemicals and materials sectors. Bamboo has some advantages over other lignocellulosic feedstocks such as: high land productivities (10-40 ton/ha-year) and higher biomass densities (500-600 kg/m3) which results in reduced production and transport costs. In the coffee region of Colombia a potential of 400 to 1,800 ktondry could be produced annually from natural stands or from the establisment of plantations of G. angustifolia, which corresponds to a fuel potential between 250 to 1,000 MWth. The potential of other bambo species, and regions in the country, has not been assessed. When calculated along the complete supply chain, GHG emissions reductions are above 70% when compared to coal-based electricity in the Netherlands. Additionally, the bamboo chain has the potential to comply with the additional sustainability criteria from the certification system NTA8080 and the EC recommendations for solid biomass. The LCA results show a superior environmental performance of the bamboo chain when compared to the coal-based reference.

Back to List