Systematic Review of Torrefied Wood Economics

Robert I. Radics, Ronalds Gonzalez, Edward (Ted) M. Bilek, Stephen S. Kelley


This literature review aims to provide a systematic analysis of studies on the financial aspects of producing torrefied biomass and torrefied pellets. There are substantial differences in the specific technologies, operating conditions, scale of the demonstration, and properties of biomass feedstock. There is a lack of reports that consider the entire supply chain, which is required for an understanding of the high-cost steps. To obtain a robust view of the torrefaction processes’ financial prospects the authors have used both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed papers that allowed the researchers to include thirty-one papers in this analysis. All these studies establish that the prices of the biomass and the final torrefied product are critical. The product yield and caloric content, which are related to pricing, were also key financial drivers. The lower freight costs due to high-energy density of the torrefied pellets was recognized and calculated, but some other benefits were not quantified. There is a need for a detailed and flexible torrefaction financial model that includes variations in financial assumptions and biomass properties. Given the uncertainty around many specific steps, there is value in including stochastic tools in these financial analyses.


Systematic review; Torrefied wood; Torrefied pellet; Economics

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126