31st March 2019

Phase 2 Commissioning Success

Another important step in NPT’s demonstration plant construction was achieved in March. The installation of the impressively large process units for washing and drying the process stream exiting the hemicellulose hydrolysis was successfully completed, together with the many associated units for provision of steam, cooling water, material transfer, measurement and control. This entire installation was successfully commissioned in the two weeks ending March 22nd and run as an end-to-end process taking in wood chips from the “walking floor” container at the front end, and delivering dried ligno-cellulose solids at the end of the drier. This is currently blown into “big bags” pending the arrival of our proprietary C6 steam thermolysis unit.

This may sound as though it just involved adding a couple of simple steps to the process. This is true – but only at a very high level. In fact for the process to operate as a smooth and integrated whole, some twelve subsystems have to be operated and controlled synchronously. This was achieved with digital controllers linked together into a computer-based Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, the whole being communicated to the operators via a Human Machine Interface, utilising mimic diagrams to assist intuitive control.

Some shots of key process stages taken during the commissioning