A clean alternative to coal

AIREX web Main BioCoal CC

Biocoal, or torrefied pellets, produced by Airex's CarbonFX system is a clean and readily available drop-in replacement for coal.

  • Biocoal has an energy content similar to that of coal, which enables a generating unit to operate at full load.
  • It can also be co-fired with coal in any proportion, or replace coal completely - turning a coal-fired plant into a 100% renewable energy plant.

Biocoal pellets provide superior performance compared to conventional wood pellets, making them the fuel of choice in existing coal-fired facilities.

  • Biocoal's unique properties allow it to be easily integrated into existing systems for handling storing and grinding coal, without major changes or expensive conversion.
  • Torrefied pellets are weather resistant allowing them to be stored outside in a pile where they can withstand the elements whereas wood pellets easily deteriorate under wet conditions.
  • Wood pellets are difficult to grind and require the addition of specially designed grinding and handling systems while biocoal is easily friable.
Conversion to biomass Major Minor -
Conversion Costs $ 150M - 500M < $ 5M -
Net Calorific Value* (GJ/metric ton) 16 - 17 20 - 22 20 - 23
Bulk Density (kg/m³) 600 - 650 700 - 750 675 - 900
Energy Density (GJ/m³) 9.6 - 11 14 - 16.5 13.5 - 20.7
Dust Limited Limited Limited
Water Resistance Poor Good Good
Biological Degradation Yes No No
Grindability Poor Good Good
Handling Special Good Good

* as received
Source: ISO-TS 17225-2 Graded Wood Pellets; IEA Bioenergy Task 32; U.S. Department of Energy (NETL-401/012111)

Benefits of BiocoalFX

AIREX web BioCoal BB extend useful life of assets

Extend useful life of assets

A conversion to torrified pellets enables power producers to extend the useful life of existing assets in jurisdictions where coal-fired power plants are being phased-out.

AIREX web BioCoal BB lower emissions and pollution

Lower emmission and pollution

Compared to coal, torrefied pellets can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 90% per GWh. Biomass combustion also reduces nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions by 50% to 70% and sulfur dioxides (SO2) emissions by 90%, while generating no toxic mercury emissions.

AIREX web BioCoal BB sustainable and renewable fuel

Sustainable and renewable fuel

There is no net addition to the atmosphere when biomass is used as a fuel to produce energy. The amount of carbon dioxyde released during combustion is the same as was captured by trees during their growth phase. The carbon dioxide circulates in a renewable, carbon-neutral cycle.

AIREX web BioCoal BB dispatchable baseload power

Dispatchable base load power

Biocoal-fired power plants can easily and quickly adjust output to fluctuations in demand. Weather-dependent, intermittent renewable energy sources lack the flexibility and reliability of biocoal to provide dispatchable base load power.

Dust-free bulk loading

The excellent durability and low fine content of the BiocoalFX enable dust-free bulk loading in a container, a vessel hold or a truck.

AIREX web BioCoal BB low transportation costs

Low transportation costs

Biocoal pellets have superior energy density, reducing supply chain and logistics costs by 25% to 30% compared to conventional wood pellets. Biocoal pellets can be produced in Canada, from certified forests, and be exported anywhere in the world by sea, rail and trucks.


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Airex Energy’s torrefied pellets meet or exceed ISO Technical Specification ISOTS 172258Graded thermally treated biomass.

Airex logo fx biocoal
Origin and source
  1.2 :    By‐products and residues from wood processing industry

1.3.1 :  Chemically untreated used wood
Diameter (D) ; Length (L)  mm 5 ≤ D ≤ 7 ; 3,15 < L < 40
Moisture (M) w‐% as received wet basis < 8
Ash (A)
 w‐% dry < 1,2
Mechanical Durability (DU)
 w‐% as received > 96,0
Fines (F)  w‐% as received ≤ 2,0
Net Calorific Value (Q)
 MJ/kg as received ≥ 19,13
Bulk Density (BD)
 kg/m3 as received > 650

Test Burn

AIREX web BioCoal Test Burn Portland General Electric
Photo:Portland General Electric

Airex Energy operates an industrial-scale biocal plant in Quebec, Canada where woody biomass is abundant and certified.

In order to help power producers gain a better understanding of the advantages of biocoal, Airex can supply torrefied pellets to perform test burns at any coal-fired generating units.

Airex Energy was recently awarded a contract to supply Portland General Electric's (PGE) Boardman coal-fired power plant in Portland, Oregon, which is planned to be converted to torrefied biomass. The 100% biomass test burn required 5,000 tons of torrefied pellets. Three tests on three separate days were successfully performed in December 2016, for a total of 16 hours of operations. More tests are planned this year.


in Purchasing

T: 450.661.6498

Head Office
2500 Bernard-Lefebvre Street
Laval, Québec, Canada, H7C 0A5


Bécancour Plant
103-4170 La Prade Blvd.
Bécancour, Québec, Canada, G9H 0B6

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