Substitution of fossil fuels by advanced combined Heat&Power applications

This research area addresses the development and implementation of dry biomass combustion for advanced heat and power, with a focus on producing clean and economical heat. . Additionally, the extension of solid biomass fuels beyond wood is considered. Pre-treatments such as torrefaction of lower quality solid biomasses as well as integration of technologies (e.g. heat exchangers to produce high temperature air or particle removal devices) are considered to increase fuel flexibility, system efficiency, as well as to reduce pollutant emissions.

Description of Research Area

SCCER BIOSWEET pursues a number of research activities, which aim at optimizing technologies to convert solid biomass – including high ash biomass – into heat and power with maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impact. The activities focus on the following marketable applications:

  • Screw burner combustor to allow the use of fuels with high ash content
  • High temperature wood dust burner for industrial heating
  • Low emissions wood pellet burners to replace fossil-fuel heating systems with advanced process control
  • The integration of particle-removal technologies (electrostatic precipitators or particle filters) into wood-fired boilers
  • Grate combustor for dusty biomass fuel utilizing waste cereal residues to deliver high temperature heat
  • Torrefaction and hydrothermal carbonization to extend biomass usage in combustion and gasification processes
  • Pyrolysis technologies to produce heat, power and biochar
  • Micro-scaled hot air turbines to produce combined power and heat from solid biomass
  • Integration of biomass heating systems with thermal energy storage
  • Advanced methane oxidation catalysts and engine control strategies used for methane emission abatement in gas engines

Research Partners

Timothy Griffin

Leader of the SCCER BIOSWEET research area “heat&power” and head of the institute for biomass and resource efficiency at the FHNW in Brugg/Windisch

Research profile

Thomas Nussbaumer

Head of the bioenergy group and lecturer for renewable energies and engineering at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and ETHZ

Research profile

Roger Röthlisberger

Professor at the Institute of Thermal Engineering of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

Research profile

Christian Ludwig

Head of the Chemical Processes and Materials group at the Paul Scherrer Institut and Adjunct Professor at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Research profile

Oliver Kröcher

Head of the SCCER BIOSWEET, head of the Bioenergy and Catalysis Laboratory at PSI and head of the group of Catalysis for Biofuels at EPFL

Research profile

Outreach Material

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