Aim and AltX-listed renewable energy development company Kibo Energy has made “significant progress” in achieving its previously stated aim if supplying solid biofuel as a replacement for conventional coal to various international companies in the manufacturing industry.
On May 2, Kibo said it had recently conducted additional verification testing on select biomass types through accredited laboratories to determine their performance specifications against the specific energy requirements of potential clients as part of an ongoing technical feasibility study.
The company said these laboratory tests had yielded better-than-expected results, demonstrating that the selected biomass types outperform conventional coal in many specification categories used in industrial boilers.
Moreover, the latest verification results show more favourable outcomes in terms of specifications compared with previous tests.
According to the latest results, the calorific value of the biocoal tested ranged from 28 MJ/kg to 32 MJ/kg, compared with conventional coal, which ranged from 20 MJ/kg to 29 MJ/kg. The results also indicated significantly less ash content of between 2.5% and 6% in the biocoal, compared with 15% to 21% in regular coal.
Sulphur content was also lower in biocoal at 0.04% to 0.1% compared with 1% to 1.5% in coal.
The outcome of the previous pilot test work indicated that the biocoal performed above expectation over a measured three-day period, in terms of its combustion properties, as well as its physical characteristics in the materials handling process – which involved the feeding process and ash removal into and from the boiler.
The results report provided by the boiler manufacturer indicated that biocoal performed in line or better than what is expected from conventional coal, with the strategic benefit that it is a carbon-neutral solution.
Kibo said the positive laboratory and pilot tests clearly demonstrated the potential viability to replace conventional coal with solid biofuel from a technical and operational perspective.
The latest results will now be fed into the detailed feasibility studies that are currently under way, which aim to establish the technical and commercial viability of replacing coal with solid biofuel in small to medium-sized boilers and similar applications.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the most recent test work and are confident that the ongoing feasibility studies will bring further positive results, validating the Kibo strategy and ability to deliver carbon-neutral solutions in Southern Africa’s highly challenging energy landscape.
“We remain on course to actively pursue the successful execution of our biofuel projects in Southern Africa and look forward to providing further updates to the market on the progress of these initiatives,” CEO Louis Coetzee said.
In addition to the release of the biocoal specification outcomes, Kibo simultaneously announced that its capital projects executive director Chris Schutte had retired from the Kibo board with immediate effect.
The company is considering candidates to succeed Schutte.
“[Schutte’s] technical knowledge and industry insight were invaluable and made a significant contribution to the company’s development,” Coetzee said.