Biomass torrefaction is capable of significantly improving the quality and properties of solid biofuels. It is often referred to as complex reactions involving the decomposition of lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose as well as moisture evaporation due to several reactions involved. To evaluate the efficiency of the torrefaction process as well as the reactor performance, considering the economics of biomass torrefaction including the total production cost and capital investment, production capacity, feedstock input, feedstock type, pre-treatment, procurement and transportation costs is of high importance. In this Chapter, the economics of torrefaction process will be discussed. In addition, ways to ensure competitiveness of torrefaction technology will be explained provided factors including the use of plant with larger capacity, integrated system features such as pelletization, and moisture content of the feedstock, are properly considered. Thereafter, the concept of sustainability of biomass torrefaction in relation with the environmental factor (sustainable forest management), social factor (revitalization of rural areas), and economic factor (fossil fuels dependence and renewable energy consumption) will be presented.
Part of the book: Biotechnological Applications of Biomass