Terra Green Energy LLC torrefaction facility, PA, USA, 4 November 2014

Two and a half hours by coach from State College, through the beautiful forests of Pennsylvania is Port Allegany, the home town of the new Terra Green Energy (TGE) LLC torrefaction facility. A site visit was the opening event of the 4th IEA CCC Workshop on Cofiring Biomass with Coal. Tom Causer and Harvey Golubock of Terra Green Energy were the generous hosts of the tour.

After coffee in the Moose Club over the road from the facility, we enjoyed a tour of the small scale commercial torrefaction plant that was only commissioned in the last month or so, but has already produced some torrefied material. As Tom Causer said: “It’s in the process of shake-down at start-up”.

Biomass at up to 55% moisture is fed into a rotary drum dryer. The dried biomass is then fed into the torrefaction reactor and held there for an adjustable amount of time between 20 minutes and up to 1.5 hours at around 250 – 300°C. Both units are powered by biomass and no fossil fuels are used at any time in the process. The torrefaction technology transforms the biomass by removing water and various volatile organic compounds (VOC) while increasing the fuel’s heat content and bulk density.  The fuel’s performance characteristics include improved grindability and it has become hydrophobic.

For more information about the plant, contact:

Tom Causer at [email protected] or visit

More blogs to follow about the 4th Cofiring biomass workshop,