A new, efficient process for reducing the ash content, drying and fractionating raw lignocellulosic materials into chemicals and a dry solid end product, eminently suitable as a fuel for conventional boilers or for milling to a fine powder for gas turbine firing, shows strong potential for renewable power generation. The dry, low ash solids, termed “Cellulig™”, will also be suitable for gasification and to drive gas turbines. Sustainable liquid and gaseous fuels will become increasingly necessary in the 21st century to reduce dependence on imported fuels, to replace dwindling supplies of oil and natural gas and to avoid environmental damage from green house gases. Convertech Group Ltd. has built a demonstration biomass processing plant at Burnham, Canterbury, New Zealand, with investment from the energy industry and the Australian Energy Research and Development Council. The essential chemical and process engineering elements are described and the current and future development opportunities outlined.

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