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Improving the sustainability of bioenergy production with a Robot for Biomass Quality Management

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ROBIOT (Improving the sustainability of bioenergy production with a Robot for Biomass Quality Management)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2018-01-31

Biomass is a heterogeneous feedstock. The varying biomass feedstock quality causes 5-10% of extra operating costs at a typical power plant. Due to the following shortcomings, conventional quality measurement practices are not able to solve this issue:

• Manual sampling is the major source of error in the quality data
• Quality data is not available from each incoming feedstock load
• Quality data is not available in real time

Prometec’s Q-Robot, a fully automated sampler for solid biofuels, makes feedstock quality management at biomass power plants, biorefineries and pulp mills efficient and intelligent.

The aim of this SME1 project was to develop a sustainable plan for scaling up the business. The feasibility study included creating a thorough understanding of the market and customer needs, scouting for partners and business development based on the market analysis.
The main tasks and outcomes were a) a comprehensive market analysis (market potential, target customers, potential partners, local sampling and quality management practices, competitors) in selected countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas, b) identification and contacts with possible piloting partners in Sweden, c) identification of sales channels and formulation of a sales strategy, and d) creation of a market entry strategy for the identified primary target markets.
This innovation addresses and solves a major challenge that still limits the optimal and efficient use of biomass for energy and other bioeconomy applications: It eliminates the error caused by conventional sampling procedures and provides reliable information of each biomass delivery before it is unloaded from the truck. Moreover, since it makes load-specific information available also to the feedstock supplier, Prometec’s solution enables a completely new level of intelligent biomass quality management across the whole supply chain. This benefits the end user (plant), feedstock supplier as well as the consumer and the society at large by improving the resource and cost efficiency (and therefore also the sustainability) of biomass supply and use. Furthermore, it improves work safety at biomass plants and enables transparency throughout the biomass supply chain.